Ant Group to Split apart Huabei Consumer Finance Brand

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Ant Group will split apart its Huabei consumer finance brand, following a tumultuous year which has seen the fintech giant come under heightened scrutiny from Chinese regulators.

Ant Group is about to spin off part of its Huabei (花呗) brand into a separate brand that will go by the name of “Xinyong Gou” (信用购)(Credit Purchase). The move comes just after Ant Group spun off part of its Jiebei (借呗) brand into another brand under the name of “Xinyong Dai” (信用贷) (Credit Loan).

Sources said to Cailianshe that Ant Consumer Finance Company (蚂蚁消费金融公司) will provide services under the Huabei brand, while lending services provided by banks and other financial institutions will make use of the “Xinyong Gou” brand in a separate section of the Alipay app.

Reports first emerged in September that Chinese authorities had ordered Ant Group to restructure the Huabei and Jiebei brands, after previously ordering the fintech giant to convert into a financial holding company with the goal of expediting regulation.

Chinese authorities scuppered Ant Group’s mammoth IPO on the Shanghai and Hong Kong bourses in November last year just days prior to its scheduled launch, as well as summoned executives from the company for disciplinary “regulatory discussions” concerning its operations.

Banking regulators subsequently ordered Ant Group to enforce anti-trust measures, as well as return to its original focus on payments operations.

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