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Ant Group says it will help employees monetize shares and commits to listing after canceled IPO

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A logo of Ant Group is pictured at the headquarters of the company, an affiliate of Alibaba, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China October 29, 2020.

Aly Song | Reuters

GUANGZHOU, China — Ant Group will find a “liquidity solution” for employees to monetize shares after its massive initial public offering (IPO) was pulled by regulators, according to a top executive at the company.

Eric Jing, executive chairman of the Chinese financial technology company created by Alibaba founder Jack Ma, also committed to getting the company listed.

An employee posted on Ant Group’s internal message board asking about the future of the company and how to retain talent. In response, Jing said the technology giant is looking into a “short-term liquidity solution” for employees to take effect in April, without elaborating what that might mean, a person who saw the memo told CNBC.

Ant Group declined to comment when contacted by CNBC.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the contents of the message.

Many Ant Group employees will hold shares in the company as a form of compensation. Usually employees can cash out or monetize those shares if the company is acquired, goes public, or management decides to buy back stock.

Ant Group, the owner of popular Chinese mobile payments app Alipay, was planning a $34.5 billion IPO in Shanghai and Hong Kong in November, which would have been the biggest of all time. But regulators forced the company to halt the listing two days before it was set to begin trading. Ant cited “significant issues such as the changes in financial technology regulatory environment” for the cancellation.

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