Ant Group executives left Alibaba Partnership after China crackdown

Ant Group executives are no longer part of Alibaba Partnership, a body that can nominate the majority of the e-commerce giant’s board, Alibaba’s annual report released on Tuesday showed, as the pair decouple after Beijing’s sweeping regulatory crackdown.

Alibaba Group (9988.HK), has amended its partnership terms, one that was created in 2010 and comprised a group of people with the power to nominate a majority of Alibaba’s board. The terms now allow only Alibaba employees to be part of the partnership.

Employees of Alibaba’s affiliates were no longer partners from May 31, Alibaba said in the filing. Ant said in a statement the move was “part of our continuous efforts to enhance corporate governance”.

Seven Ant Group executives including Chief Executive Eric Jing have stepped down from Alibaba Partnership. Others include its chief technology officer and chief people officer. Two of Alibaba’s retired executives also left the partnership, leaving the total number of Alibaba Partners at 29 from 38 in 2021.

After a sweeping restructuring by Beijing derailed Ant’s $37 billion initial public offering in 2020, the two companies have taken steps to set strict operational boundaries, Reuters reported.

Ant has embarked on a restructuring plan that would see it become a financial holding company and reshuffled its board recently, with departures including Alibaba veteran Jiang Fang.

Separately, Alibaba said it will apply for a primary listing in Hong Kong, taking advantage of a rule change allowing high-tech Chinese firms with dual class shares to seek dual primary listings in Hong Kong.

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