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Approval for Hong Kong legs

The Ant Group Co. logo and the Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. logo will be displayed behind a reception at the company’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China, Monday, September 28, 2020.

Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

GUANGZHOU, China – Ant Group has gained approval from the Chinese Securities and Exchange Commission for the Hong Kong leg of its initial IPO and has moved it one step closer to IPO, CNBC has confirmed.

The financial technology giant, 33% owned by Alibaba and controlled by billionaire Jack Ma, is seeking to be listed in Shanghai and Hong Kong in a simultaneous IPO.

China Securities Regulatory Commission has given the green light for the Hong Kong part, a person familiar with the matter told CNBC. A hearing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, an important part of the approval process, will take place on Monday, the person said.

IFR first reported the news. Ant Group declined to comment to CNBC.

Ant Group̵

7;s IPO may be one of the largest ever. Reuters has previously reported that the company wants to raise $ 35 billion. An analyst previously told CNBC that Ant’s valuation could be north of $ 200 billion.

The Chinese company runs the massively popular Alipay mobile payment app in China, which has over 700 million active users every month. It also has various other financial products from insurance to asset management. But a big part of the business model is the sale of financial technology products and the generation of technology service fees.

Ant Group’s IPO process has pushed forward despite a report that the US is trying to get the company put on a trading blacklist called Entity List, which experts said would be “largely symbolic”.

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