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Shuli Ren and Anjani Trivedi

Is Alibaba Really Ready to Show China’s Subprime Books?

The IPOs of two online lending giants will reveal the credit stresses on Chinese consumers to investors. It won’t be pretty.

At first glance, the timing couldn’t be better.

At first glance, the timing couldn’t be better.

Photographer: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty

The world’s largest fintech unicorns are preparing for their debutante balls. Billionaire Jack Ma’s Ant Group is seeking a valuation north of $200 billion in a landmark dual public listing in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Lufax, backed by Ping An Insurance Group Co., is going one step further, braving the U.S. Senate’s new Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act and targeting to raise at least $3 billion in New York.

Billion-dollar initial public offerings are encouraging news for market sentiment. But we can’t help but wonder: Is this really a good time to celebrate their success, when tension between the U.S. and China is escalating into a war for capital?