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Tim Culpan

A $280 Billion Unicorn Just Had its Legs Broken

Ant’s story can no longer be the fairytale investors believed in

Ain’t going to be what it promised.

Ain’t going to be what it promised.

Photographer: STR/AFP

Any doubts that Ant Group Co. overstepped the mark are now laid to rest. The new dilemma for the company’s management, and its bankers, is rewriting the narrative of the world’s biggest fintech giant.

Executives have been told to return the Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. affiliate to its payments roots, Bloomberg News reported Sunday citing a statement from the People’s Bank of China. This directive implies that its credit, insurance and investment product lines may need to be dumped, though the central bank stopped short of calling for the company to be broken up.