The suspension of Ant Group’s planned IPO scheduled for Thursday is a reminder of how much China’s government dictates the life of Chinese companies. The much-anticipated offering was put off after the government warned Ant's controlling shareholder Jack Ma that the payments behemoth would face new rules that would restrict its growth, according to this Bloomberg story.
The offering would have raised $37 billion for Ant, making it the largest in IPO history, valuing Ant at more than $300 billion. But the significance of the offering was broader. It appeared to signal a recognition by Chinese tech giants that going public at home, rather than in the U.S. as many have long preferred, is a viable option. That could have paved the way for giants like ByteDance or Didi to follow suit.