China's Ant publishes financial self-discipline rules amid tougher scrutiny

FILE PHOTO: A sign of Ant Group is seen during the World Internet Conference (WIC) in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, China, November 23, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s Ant Group on Friday published a set of financial self-discipline rules amid the country’s tightened scrutiny on financial technology regulations.

The publication of the rules, the first of their kind released by the group, comes some four months after China suspended the financial technology giant’s $37 billion plan for a share listing in both Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Chinese regulators have tightened their grip on fintech companies, amid concerns over systemic financial risks brought by the financial empire affiliated to China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group.

In the statement, Ant said its consumer loan platforms will not issue loans to minors, and will prevent small business loans from flowing into stock and property markets.

The group’s credit-rating service Zhima Credit will also not be available to financial institutions including micro loan lenders, it said.

Earlier, Ant lowered its borrowing limits for some young users of its Huabei virtual credit card product. The credit limit reduction is intended to promote more “rational” spending habits among users, it has said.

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