U.S. officials are concerned that Ant Group and other Chinese fintech platforms will come to dominate global digital payments, the people said. That in turn could give China access to banking and personal data of hundreds of millions of people. Senior administration officials discussed the idea in a Sept. 30 meeting in the White House Situation Room, according to two people familiar with the matter. Yet officials acknowledge that it would be difficult to move forward until they sort out the mechanism, and that is proving difficult to do as the officials seek to find a legally sound approach. There’s no indication the idea has been presented to President Donald Trump, whose approval would be required to proceed, two of the people said. The president fell ill with coronavirus a day after officials met to discuss China, and the issue hasn’t made much progress at such a senior level in the days since, one of the people said.
The report also notes that Ant, the online finance giant and owner of the Alipay e-payment system, “nears a dual listing in Shanghai and Hong Kong, possibly by the end of the month. An affiliate of Chinese tech giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Ant is preparing for an IPO of about $35 billion that would give it an overall valuation of $250 billion, twice that of Citigroup Inc.”