Billionaire Jack Ma's empire is suspected of being involved in a major corruption scandal 0Billionaire Jack Ma's empire is suspected of being involved in a major corruption scandal 0

(Dan Tri) – China National Television implicated billionaire Jack Ma’s Ant Group in a corruption scandal, as the internet empire lost billions of dollars because authorities tightened management.

Billionaire Jack Ma’s business has continuously encountered difficulties since the end of 2020 (Photo: Forbes).

According to the Financial Times on January 21, a documentary broadcast on China National Television (CCTV) showed that private companies `paid unreasonably high sums` to the younger brother of the former Secretary of State.

The documentary does not name billionaire Jack Ma’s company by name, but according to public records, a unit of Ant Group was the only outside corporate investor in one of the prominent deals and was located in the United States.

According to two sources familiar with public records and transactions, Ant Group will have two plots of land in Hangzhou at preferential prices in 2019 after investing in two mobile payment businesses run by the secretary’s younger brother.

The content of the film accuses former Hangzhou Party Secretary Zhou Jian Yong, who was arrested in August 2021 for corruption, of helping unnamed companies acquire cheap land and enjoy preferential policies.

According to the documentary, Mr. Zhou’s younger brother, a former business school professor, founded Youcheng United Information Technology Development Company (Ningbo) in 2016 and won a contract to build a system.

Ant Group has begun a series of transactions with Mr. Zhou’s younger brother’s company.

Later that year, Shanghai Yunxin spent 1.4 million yuan ($221,000) to acquire a 13.5% stake in a Hangzhou-based subway payment service provider controlled by China.

Less than a year after Ant Group completed its second investment, it won the Hangzhou land auction as the only qualified bidder, bidding 5,194 yuan ($819).

In the documentary, the younger brother of former party secretary Zhou claimed that he had exchanged large sums of money for investments in the company.

Currently, Ant Group has not responded to requests for comment on the above information.

`The essence of such profit transfer is an exchange of rights and money,` said the documentary, produced by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China.

The above movie is putting more pressure on Ant Group while this technology corporation with more than 1 billion users is having difficulty adjusting its business operations.

Professor Nie Huihua at Renmin University of China said, `the rise and fall of Ant Group symbolizes the unequal relationship between business and politics in this country`.

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