The US State Department has submitted a proposal for the Trump administration to add China’s Ant Group to a trade blacklist, according to two SCMP sources familiar with the matter, before the fintech arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba is slated to go public, reported the South China Morning Post.
It was not immediately clear when the US government agencies that decide whether to add a company to the so-called Entity List would review the matter, said the SCMP.
But the move comes as China hardliners in the Trump administration are seeking to send a message to deter US investors from taking part in the initial public offering for Ant Group. The dual listing in Shanghai and Hong Kong could be worth up to a record $35 billion.
The Trump officials fear US investors who buy shares in the company could be defrauded or that Ant could give the Chinese government access to sensitive banking data belonging to US citizens.