Regulators target Alipay in tech overhaul: report

Chinese regulators have ordered sweeping changes to the country’s biggest payment app Alipay, as the ruling Communist Party attempts to rein in “the unruly growth” of the tech giants.

Alipay – with more than one billion users in China and other Asian nations including India – was told to spin off its profitable micro loan business, the Financial Times reported on Monday, citing a person with knowledge of the matter.

Currently the app allows users to pay with a traditional credit card linked to their bank or offers small unsecured loans to buy anything from toilet paper to laptops.

“The government believes big tech’s monopoly power comes from their control of data,” the source close to financial regulators told the newspaper. “It wants to end that.”

Alipay’s parent company Ant Group is China’s biggest payments services provider.

Regulators pulled the plug on the fintech conglomerate’s record US$37 billion stock market launch in November, after founder Jack Ma criticised officials for stifling innovation. (AFP)