Ant Group Denies Rumors That Hangzhou Official Under Disciplinary Investigation Is Purchasing Shares

Ant Group, the financial arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, on August 22 refuted online rumors that a senior Hangzhou government official currently under disciplinary investigation had bought shares in the company during its IPO.

“Ant Group had strictly followed laws and regulations of both markets in the previous IPO process, which is open and transparent. The rumors about a certain person taking shares in the company is false, not to mention the sudden share buying or refunds,” the company said in a statement released on its official WeChat account.

Ant Group also affirmed it had never cooperated with the law firms or lawyers mentioned in the rumors.

On the evening of August 21, news emerged that Zhou Jiangyong, secretary of the Hangzhou Municipal Party Committee, allegedly committed serious disciplinary and legal violations and is now under a disciplinary review and supervision investigation, conducted by China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the State Supervision Commission.

Over the weekend, an article was published by a personal social media account, saying that in November 2020, the listing plan of a fintech company in Zhejiang province was abruptly stopped. Prior to the IPO, Zhou’s family had apparently bought stocks in the firm. At present, this article has been deleted by the publisher.

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The website of China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the State Supervision Commission published an article on Monday, saying that in order to further optimize compatible and clean relations between government and business, Hangzhou’s Commission for Discipline Inspection and Supervision Commission took the feedback from the central inspection as the breakthrough point to deal with problems affecting the relations.