Ant Financial’s $1.2bn takeover of MoneyGram has drawn fresh criticism from US lawmakers who say the acquisition of the US cash-transfer group by an affiliate of China’s Alibaba and the Chinese government poses a national security threat. In letters addressed to Steven Mnuchin, US Treasury Secretary, obtained by the Financial Times, Republican senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran said the Beijing-backed acquisition of MoneyGram could hurt America’s financial infrastructure. Mounting opposition on the hill against Chinese acquisitions of US assets poses a dilemma for Jack Ma, the billionaire behind Alibaba, who has been positioning himself as a close friend of US President Donald Trump. Last week, the founder of the Chinese ecommerce giant promised to bring 1m small US small businesses on to Alibaba’s platform in an effort to boost US exports to China. He has previously pledged to create 1m US jobs, a move lauded by Trump.
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