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Jack Ma’s Ant to Apply for Key License as Soon as This Month

  • Central bank plans to accept Ant’s application, begin review
  • Ant said it has no timetable for submitting application
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Jack Ma’s Ant Group Co. is poised to apply for a key financial license as soon as this month, according to people familiar with the matter, a sign that its lengthy overhaul following a squashed 2020 listing is getting closer to satisfying China’s financial regulators.

The People’s Bank of China intends to accept Ant’s application to become a financial holding company once it’s submitted and will then start a review process, which could take months, said the people, asking not to be identified discussing a private matter. Officials will examine Ant’s capital strength and business plans, as well as the compliance of its shareholders and senior management before a final signoff.