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12 killed in heavy rain in China’s Zhengzhou

A total of 12 people have been killed in the torrential rains in the downtown area of Zhengzhou, the provincial capital of central China’s Henan Province, the local government said, Trend report citing Xinhua.

About 100,000 people have been relocated to safe places, it added.

The accumulated rainfall reached 449 mm on average in Zhengzhou from 6 p.m. Sunday to midnight Tuesday. Both Henan provincial and Zhengzhou municipal meteorological bureaus have raised the emergency response for meteorological disasters to level I.

More than 160 trains stopped services at Zhengzhoudong Railway Station, stranding a large number of passengers.

Heavy rains in Henan are expected to last until Wednesday night, according to forecasts

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This post originally posted here Trend – News from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iran and Turkey.

China’s Xi sets ‘sets sights on Taiwan’ as frightening new phase in global plan begins

Tobias Ellwood was speaking after the Chinese President addressed an event marking the CCP’s 100th anniversary – causing a stir with the strength of his language. Mr Ellwood, the Tory MP for Bournemouth, told Express.co.uk he, like many others, was following events in Beijing with rising levels of concern.

“I think partly in reaction to the global response to China initially hiding the pandemic and the condemnation of the new security laws in Hong Kong and also the outrage expressed over the treatment of the Uighurs.

“China is clearly seeking to become so large that nobody will dare challenge it.

“This is its direction and travel as it reinterprets our international rules for its own benefit.”

“He has now consolidated his power over Hong Kong – this ‘one country two systems’ thing is completely out the window.

“He’s now got his sights set on Taiwan. It could be the next 10 years, or the next five years, but things are going to get very unpredictable.

“We now have Japan joining America to say we will defend Taiwan.”

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“Xi’s navy is now the largest in the world, growing by the size of ours every year.

“He’s wanting to become so big that nobody, no country, including the USA, would dare challenge him.

“The West needs to unite. Only by standing together can the international community defend democracy, particularly in democratic countries such as Taiwan.”

Speaking last month, Xi declared: “We will never allow anyone to bully, oppress or subjugate China.

“Anyone who dares try to do that will have their heads bashed bloody against the Great Wall of Steel forged by over 1.4 billion Chinese people.”

He added: “No one should underestimate the resolve, the will and ability of the Chinese people to defend their national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Furthermore, he reaffirmed what he called China’s “unbreakable commitment” to unifying with Taiwan, while vowing to “fulfil the Chinese Dream of great national rejuvenation”.

Speaking to Express.co.uk after Mr Jinping’s speech, Prof Steve Tsang, the director of the China Institute at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), said it included “unnecessarily harsh language which will backfire in the outside world”.

He said of Xi’s words: “They confirm the approach Xi takes towards the rest of the world, which is that they are required to respect China on China’s terms, and if they don’t, they should be prepared to face the consequences, some could be rather unpleasant.”

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China’s Nationalistic ‘Wolf Warriors’ Blast Foes on Twitter

Diplomats hurl insults and mock enemies in screeds that often appear aimed at a domestic audience, even though the social media service is blocked in China. 

On Monday, Li Yang, China’s consul general in Rio de Janeiro, took to Twitter to mock the rescue efforts following the Surfside, Florida, building collapse. “American-style rescue: very layman in saving people, but too expert in blasting!!!” Li wrote, including side-by-side pictures of the partially collapsed condominium and its demolition with explosives.

In other recent tweets, Li called Adrian Zenz, a researcher who has written extensively about internment camps in Xinjiang, a liar. Li also referred to Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau as “boy” and branded him “a running dog of the U.S.” Such outbursts have helped Li rack up nearly 27,000 followers on Twitter—even though the platform is blocked in China.

Li is one of dozens of Chinese diplomats who have found a home on Twitter in recent years, taking to the site with Trumpian bravado to raise their profiles at home and abroad. Spurred on by Chinese president Xi Jinping, who took power in 2013, this vocal cohort—nicknamed “wolf warriors” after the nationalistic movie franchise of the same name—fanned out across the globe, bashing enemies and bristling at even the mildest criticism.

Xi has brought China a renewed focus on ideology, as well as the return of Mao-era tools that include reeducation camps and collective study sessions. When Chinese diplomats see such domestic moves, “they are very good at calibrating their response to that in a way that safeguards their own individual interests,” says Peter Martin, whose new book, China’s Civilian Army: The Making of Wolf Warrior Diplomacy, traces the history of China’s diplomatic corps.

For today’s diplomats, safeguarding their interests often requires stridently defending China’s interests and image—both online and off. Last year, Chinese officials sparked a fistfight at a diplomatic event in Fiji, when they showed up uninvited to a celebration for Taiwan’s national day.

The aggressive, nationalistic style can seem highly undiplomatic, counterproductive even—but it plays well to patriotic audiences back home and can be a path to promotion. Combative messages on Western social media and theatrical outbursts often end up trickling back to Chinese social media, says Maria Repnikova, a professor at Georgia State University whose research focuses on journalism and public messaging in non-democratic regimes. The messaging also ends up reflected in state media and amplified by coordinated influence campaigns that have been traced to China.

As a diplomat posted to Pakistan in 2015, Zhao Lijian filled his feed both with tweetstorms attacking the US and posts extolling China-Pakistan economic collaboration. By 2019, soon after sparking a Twitter spat with former US national security adviser Susan Rice, Zhao returned to Beijing and was promoted to be a spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry. From that perch, he tweeted on March 12, 2020, that the US Army might have brought Covid-19 to China.

In 2016, when a Canadian reporter asked China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, about a Canadian citizen accused of spying and detained in China, Wang responded, “Your question is full of arrogance and prejudice against China … This is totally unacceptable.” His remarks went viral, and an online fan club for Wang—who’d already been named a “silver fox” by the Chinese press—racked up more than 130,000 members. It’s a stark contrast to the mid-2000s, when nationalistic citizens mailed calcium pills to the Foreign Ministry to suggest that officials needed to grow backbones in the face of international criticism of China’s human rights record.

While the medium is new, the approach is not—although the volume can be turned up or down depending on the needs of the day. As Martin writes, in November 1950, general-turned-diplomat Wu Xiuquan gave a fiery 105-minute speech at the United Nations in which he labeled the US, then facing off against China in the Korean War, “the cunning aggressor in their relations with China” and called for sanctions against the US.

“At times, Chinese diplomats are very charming, impressive, and they use the discipline that has been cultivated in the Foreign Ministry to win over international opinion and win friends for China,” says Martin. At other times, though, such as during the Cultural Revolution and again more recently, “there’s been this very combative and even aggressive side to Chinese diplomacy.”

That contrast was on display in Anchorage, Alaska, in March, during the first US-China summit under the Biden administration. After critical remarks from US secretary of state Antony Blinken about China’s mistreatment of the largely Muslim Uyghur population, economic coercion, and breaches of international norms, Chinese vice minister of foreign affairs Yang Jiechi launched into an angry speech for the assembled cameras, referencing, among other things, Black Lives Matter protests in the US. Once the cameras were gone, the talks were said to be cordial and productive.

To write China’s Civilian Army, Martin, a reporter for Bloomberg, spent four years poring over about 100 memoirs of former diplomats and interviewing Chinese and international officials to unpack the historical roots of wolf warrior behavior.

The book’s title comes from remarks that Zhou Enlai, China’s first premier and foreign minister, made to the new members of his diplomatic corps in November 1949. “Armed struggle and diplomatic struggle are similar,” he said. “Diplomatic personnel are the People’s Liberation Army in civilian clothing.”

The founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 was meant to reassert China’s position in the world and mark its recovery from the “century of humiliation”—a cascade of offenses cited by nationalists to this day. At the time, the country was diplomatically isolated and subject to the whims of Mao’s personality and policy making.

Zhou’s early attempts to shape interactions with the outside world set a mold that continues. Diplomats generally work in pairs, keeping tabs on one another. According to non-Chinese diplomats Martin spoke to, their Chinese counterparts stick faithfully to talking points and never betray internal struggles. The strict discipline allows no room for negotiation, but there’s also no confusion about where China stands. (Another recent book, Josh Rogin’s hawkish Chaos Under Heaven, reveals the infighting and mixed messages that characterized the Trump administration’s response to China.)

Today some diplomats and other observers in China are questioning whether wolf warrior tactics have gone too far. In early June, Xi himself told senior officials China should communicate in a tone that is more “modest and humble” and project a “credible, lovable, and respectable image” abroad. Repnikova thinks Xi’s remarks might signal that, despite its economic prowess and attempts to win friends with masks and medical supplies during the pandemic, China hasn’t been effective at projecting soft power or earning the respect it craves on the global stage.

But Xi’s actions since then call into question his commitment to toning down the rhetoric. On July 1, he commemorated the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party with a speech in which, according to the official translation, he said, “we will never allow any foreign force to bully, oppress, or subjugate us.” Chinese netizens, many of whom posted on social media to mark the party’s anniversary, approved.

Xi is also expected to name Qin Gang as the new ambassador to Washington. Qin was known to lash out in defense of China during his time as chief of protocol and when working on European affairs in Beijing. Qin’s predecessor, outgoing Ambassador Cui Tiankai, was a more traditional diplomat and often quelled fires in Washington, such as reaching out to Rice after Zhao’s outburst.

Even if Xi succeeds in making official Twitter feeds more “modest and humble,” it will do little to assuage Western concerns about China’s transparency over the origins of Covid-19, industrial policy, and attacks on Hong Kong’s democracy.

“I don’t see any way that you can repackage China’s policy on reeducation camps in a way that could possibly be persuasive to Western political elites,” says Martin. “Without some shift in policies, I don’t really see how a tweaking of wolf warrior tactics is going to help to improve China’s image very much. And I don’t really think that that shift in policy is in the cards.”


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Author: Jennifer Conrad
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A Global Smart-City Competition Highlights China’s Rise in AI

Chinese entrants swept all five categories, featuring technologies to improve civic life. But the advances could also be tools for surveillance.

Four years ago, organizers created the international AI City Challenge to spur the development of artificial intelligence for real-world scenarios like counting cars traveling through intersections or spotting accidents on freeways.

In the first years, teams representing American companies or universities took top spots in the competition. Last year, Chinese companies won three out of four competitions.

Last week, Chinese tech giants Alibaba and Baidu swept the AI City Challenge, beating competitors from nearly 40 nations. Chinese companies or universities took first and second place in all five categories. TikTok creator ByteDance took second place in a competition to identify car accidents or stalled vehicles from freeway videofeeds.

The results reflect years of investment by the Chinese government in smart cities. Hundreds of Chinese cities have pilot programs, and by some estimates, China has half of the world’s smart cities. The spread of edge computing, cameras, and sensors using 5G wireless connections is expected to accelerate use of smart-city and surveillance technology.

The tech displayed in these competitions can be useful to city planners, but it also can facilitate invasive surveillance. Counting the number of cars on the road helps civic engineers understand the resources required to support roads and bridges, but tracking a vehicle across multiple live camera feeds is a powerful form of surveillance. One of the competitions in the AI City Challenge asked participants to identify cars in videofeeds; for the first time this year, the descriptions were in ordinary language, such as “a blue Jeep goes straight down a winding road behind a red pickup truck.”

The competition comes at a time of increased tech nationalism and tension between the US and China, and growing concern over the powers of AI. The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in 2019 called China “a major driver of AI surveillance worldwide.” The group said China and the US were the two leading exporters of the technology. Last month, the Biden administration expanded a blacklist started by the Trump administration to nearly 60 Chinese companies barred from receiving investment from US financiers. Also in recent weeks, the US Senate passed the Competition and Innovation Act, providing billions in investment for chips, AI, and supply chain reliability. It also calls for investment in smart cities, including expanding a smart-city partnership with southeast Asian nations (excluding China).

China’s domination of the smart-city challenge may come with an asterisk. John Garofolo, a US government official involved in the competition, says he noticed fewer US teams this year. Organizers say they don’t track participants by country.

Stan Caldwell is executive director of Mobility21, a project at Carnegie Mellon University assisting smart-city development in Pittsburgh. Caldwell laments that China invests twice as much as the US in research and development as a share of GDP, which he calls key to staying competitive in areas of emerging technology.

He says AI researchers in the US can also compete for government grants like the National Science Foundation’s Civic Innovation Challenge or the Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge. A report released last month found that a $ 50 million DOT grant to the city of Columbus, Ohio, never quite delivered on the promise of building the smart city of the future.

“We want the technologies to develop, because we want to improve safety and efficiency and sustainability. But selfishly, we also want this technology to develop here and improve our economy,” Caldwell says.

Spokespeople for Alibaba and Baidu declined to comment, but advances from smart-city challenges can help fuel commercial offerings for both companies. Alibaba’s City Brain tracks more than 1,000 traffic lights in the company’s hometown of Hangzhou, a city of 10 million people. A pilot program found that City Brain reduced congestion and helped clear the way for emergency responders.

Chinese companies have done well in other US-sponsored assessments of surveillance technology. Chinese firms including Alibaba-backed Megvii performed well on facial-recognition accuracy tests from the National Institute for Standards and Technology.

The US is also encouraging AI researchers to develop smart-city surveillance technology with ASAPS, a competition to make AI that helps emergency operators predict when they should dispatch an ambulance, fire engine, or police.

In that competition, teams analyze a combination of text, photo, and video data as well as mock Facebook and Twitter posts. There is also fake 911 call audio and synthetic gunshot-detection sensor data. In all, there are more than 60 emergency events in the data across eight hours of life in a simulated city, recorded with actors and actresses at a Department of Defense training facility in Indiana. Only teams associated with US businesses or universities may participate in the ASAPS challenge.

Garofolo, a senior adviser at NIST, has previously worked with the intelligence community and White House on projects analyzing multiple videofeeds. He led the effort to create the ASAPS data set, which he likened to producing a Hollywood movie. As part of the AI City Challenge workshop, Garofolo showed a snippet of video from the ASAPS data of people fleeing the scene of a shooting, pairing that footage with mock tweets.

Last year, he said the results of the competition showed the need to invest more in AI talent in the US. Emphasizing that he was speaking as an individual, he says the open sharing of knowledge is still important for the scientific community, along with the growth and development of expertise based in the US.


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Author: Khari Johnson
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EU cracks show after China’s ‘friend’ Hungary breaks ranks to strike deal with Beijing

The European Parliament voted to suspend the ratification of the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) earlier this year after relations between the two sides plunged. It came after the EU joined the US, UK, and Canada in placing sanctions on Chinese officials involved in alleged human rights violations in the region of Xinjiang. But Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with counterparts from Hungary, Ireland, Serbia and Poland this week and reportedly agreed to “reflect on problems in China-Europe relations”.

It came after Mr Wang praised Hungary’s “friendly attitude” towards China in a bilateral meeting in Guiyang in southwestern Guizhou province.

Beijing said “four goals” for the bilateral relationship were agreed on with Budapest during Wang’s meeting on Monday with Peter Szijjarto, Hungarian minister of foreign affairs and trade.

The four goals are said to relate to deepening strategic mutual trust, pursuing high-quality economic cooperation together, encouraging cultural and people-to-people exchange and co-defending international institutions and multilateralism.

After the meeting between the ministers, the Hungarian government also announced a deal was struck to produce the Chinese-developed Sinopharm vaccine locally too.

Hungary is the only EU country to vaccinate its citizens with the Chinese jab after domestic regulators approved its use, breaking with an EU consensus that any COVID-19 shot used inside the bloc would be authorised by the European Medicines Agency.

This week marked Mr Wang’s first meeting with his European counterparts since the stalling of the CAI.

Serbia is not a member of the EU, but the other three – Hungary, Ireland and Poland – are.

But Mr Wang insisted China was not trying to divide Europe.

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He added: “The current difficulties between China and Europe is something China does not wish to see, and it does not serve the fundamental and long-term interests of both sides.

“On the level of China-Europe relations, China’s cooperation with Hungary was never, and will never be, about dividing Europe.

“Instead, it is to boost mutual understanding and tolerance, to stand against moves that destroy China-Europe cooperation and to stand against conspiracies that divide the world.”

Hungary’s warming relations with China appear to be in contrast with the atmosphere between Beijing and the EU.

A statement by the Chinese foreign ministry quotes Hungarian Foreign Minister Szijjarto supporting the signing of the CAI, backing the Beijing narrative that China has never interfered with Europe and stating that Hungary welcomed Huawei.

It comes after many European countries were called on by the US to block the Chinese telecoms investment because of “security concerns”.

The EU has no blanket ban on Huawei being used within the bloc but individual members, including Poland, have issued domestic embargoes.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: World Feed

Strong Covid recovery may propel China’s GDP growth above target level – report

Author: RT
This post originally appeared on RT Business News

China’s economic growth is projected to rebound to 8.1% this year, fueled by strong exports and a gradual recovery in household consumption, according to a report from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The bank’s economists attributed the economic growth to the improved job market, restored consumer confidence, and the release of pent-up household demand. Last month, Beijing set a GDP growth target of over 6% for 2021.

The head of the economics unit for the ADB resident mission in China, Dominik Peschel said, as cited by China Daily, that consumption will return as a primary driver of growth this year, followed by investment in the manufacturing sector.

ADB expects consumer inflation to moderate to 1.5% this year before it recovers to 2.3% in 2022, due to a fall in pork prices.

Experts said that, despite renewed coronavirus outbreaks in Asia, China continues to experience economic normalization as containment efforts hold and vaccinations ramp up. The ongoing pandemic-related restrictions in many regions of the world will continually fuel demand for consumer goods. As a result, China’s merchandise exports are expected to outperform imports in 2021.

Also on rt.com Beijing’s foreign trade exceeds $ 104 BILLION in the first three months of 2021

According to the report, this year China’s central bank will likely guide credit growth mainly through liquidity adjustments, and targeted cuts in the reserve requirement ratio remain an option to provide qualified banks with additional funds for lending.

“Monetary policy will likely prioritize financial stability to a larger extent, especially in regard to real estate and shadow banking financing,” said the ADB.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

China’s Wuhan rises from Covid-19 fallout, boosting GDP by nearly 60%

Author: RT
This post originally appeared on RT Business News

The Chinese city once the epicenter of the global coronavirus pandemic, Wuhan, has expanded its economy by 58.4% in the first quarter of 2021, a year after Covid-19 paralyzed economic activity in China.

The city’s gross domestic product (GDP) rose to 357.4 billion yuan ($ 55 billion) in January-March compared to the same period last year, China’s CGTN reported citing data from local authorities. 

Meanwhile the GDP of China’s Hubei province where Wuhan is located also went into positive territory for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak hit, Global Times reported earlier this week citing official statistics. It rose 58.3% to reach 987.27 billion yuan ($ 151.4 billion) in the first three months of 2021 compared with a 40% drop a year ago. 

Also on rt.com China’s economy sees record growth after Covid-19 pandemic slump

The city and the whole province faced strict lockdowns that lasted for more than two months when the deadly virus started rapidly spreading across China and beyond at the beginning of 2020. Most local businesses and factories were closed due to the restrictions. 

The region’s performance is part of a broader recovery of the Chinese economy. After becoming the only major economy that managed to expand in the pandemic year, China reported record 18.3% growth in the first quarter of 2021.

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Exports from China’s Xinjiang province to US more than doubled this year despite sanctions

Author RT
This post originally appeared on RT Business News

Direct exports from China’s northwestern Xinjiang region to the US surged 113% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2021 despite Washington’s import ban on cotton and other products.

Xinjiang’s American-bound exports amounted to $ 64.4 million in the first three months of 2021, the South China Morning Post reported, citing data from China’s customs agency. While year-on-year data is not representative as it comes from the pandemic year’s low base, exports also rose compared to pre-crisis levels. They gained 46.5% compared with the first quarter of 2019.

Overall exports from the Chinese region in the first quarter increased by more than a third year-on-year, but were down 6% against the same period of 2019.
Also on rt.com China’s economy sees record growth after Covid-19 pandemic slump
While Xinjiang’s exports are just a fraction of the growing Chinese exports, the news comes as Beijing and Washington have been locking horns over claims of human rights violations and abuses, including forced labor, in the region. This has resulted in a US ban on all imports of Xinjiang-grown cotton and tomatoes, including sauces, seeds, and other products. China has repeatedly denied the accusations and said it would welcome a UN visit to the region.

However, banned cotton products, except for some garments, are not among the increased exports from the region, according to the report. Xinjiang mostly shipped heterocyclic compounds to the US, which are used in cancer drugs, and amino acids.
Also on rt.com China outpaces US as Europe’s largest trade partner in 2020
As tensions between the world’s largest economies rise, the US is considering a ban on the import of all goods from the region unless there is evidence that the product was made without forced labor. Despite the relatively small level of exports from Xinjiang, broader sanctions could affect US consumers, the lead analyst for global trade at the Economist Intelligence Unit, Nick Marro, believes.

“It at least demonstrates that, as tensions mount over Xinjiang, and if trade restrictions multiply, it’ll be a painful process for a lot of US-based customers to meaningfully ‘de-Xinjiangise’ their supply chains,” he told the South China Morning Post.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

China’s Huawei plans to launch ultrafast 6G networks by 2030 – media

While many countries around the world are only starting to embrace 5G technology, Chinese tech giant Huawei has come forward with plans to roll out its much-faster successor.

The plans were revealed by the company’s rotating chairman Xu Zhijun at a conference in Shenzhen earlier this week, according to a Chinese media report. The official said that 6G networks will be introduced to the market in less than 10 years, by 2030. 
Also on rt.com China successfully sends world’s first 6G satellite into orbit to test technology
Huawei vowed to release a white paper explaining its vision for the development of next-generation networks in the near future, the report said. While details about the technology are scarce, China’s CGTN reported that 6G networks may be 50 times faster than 5G. Given that 5G networks allow the transfer of up to 20 gigabits per second under ideal conditions, the speed of its successor may reach 1,000 gigabits per second.

While it will definitely enable users to download everything from apps to videos faster, 6G technology can also allow use of the internet at high-speed movement, for example in a plane, the report notes.
Also on rt.com Huawei posts record profit in 2020 despite mounting US pressure
Huawei is one of the global leaders in 5G development, but some countries have opted to restrict the use of the company’s equipment amid US pressure. In 2019, the tech company revealed that it started working on 6G networks “long ago.” Its CEO Ren Zhengfei said that the technology was still in the early stages, projecting that some ten years could pass before it becomes a reality.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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This article originally appeared on RT Business News

Ant Group explores options for Jack Ma to exit, as Beijing unsheathes its sword against China’s big tech

Fintech company Ant Group, an affiliate of the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, is reportedly looking for an efficient way for its founder Jack Ma to divest his stake and give up control of the company.

The talks between the Chinese state regulator and Ant Group that took place between January and March signaled to the company that Ma’s exit could help draw a line under Beijing’s scrutiny of its business, according to sources familiar with the matter, as cited by Reuters.
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Earlier this year, officials from the People’s Bank of China and the financial regulator, China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, held a series of meetings with Ma and Ant Group, respectively. A source familiar with the regulator’s thinking and another with close ties to the company told Reuters that the parties discussed the possibility of the billionaire’s exit.

The company has denied that the prospect of Ma’s quitting was ever under consideration, however. “Divestment of Mr. Ma’s stake in Ant Group has never been the subject of discussions with anyone,” a spokesman said in a statement.

According to one of the sources, the corporation hopes that Ma’s multi-billion-dollar stake could be sold either to existing investors in Ant Group or its former parent company, Alibaba Group Holding, without involving any external entity.
Also on rt.com China plans to turn up heat in crackdown on monopolies after opening probe into online giant Alibaba
Transferring Ma’s stake to a Chinese investor affiliated with the state is reportedly seen as another option. Another source assured the agency that Ma was told the regulators would not allow him to sell the stake to any entity or individual close to him.

The unconfirmed news comes a week after China’s antitrust regulators hit Alibaba Group, the world’s largest e-commerce corporation, with an 18.23 billion yuan ($ 2.8-billion) fine for abusing its dominant market position in China’s online retail platform service market.

Alibaba and its affiliate became the subject of intense scrutiny by Beijing after Ma, who founded both organizations, publicly criticized the Chinese regulator, accusing officials of having a “pawnshop mentality” that stunted business growth and innovation.
Also on rt.com Jack Ma becomes over $ 2 billion richer in 1 day after record Alibaba fine
Ant Group owns China’s largest digital payment platform, Alipay, which serves more than a billion users and 80 million merchants, with a total payment volume totaling 118 trillion yuan ($ 17 trillion) in June 2020.

Ant’s initial public offering, which was about to raise an estimated $ 37 billion – the world’s largest IPO – was abruptly halted last year over regulatory concerns.

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This article originally appeared on RT Business News