U.S. Blocks MoneyGram Sale to Chinese Firm Ant Financial Over Security Concerns

MoneyGram was to have been bought by the Chinese firm Ant Financial.
Photograph: Mauritz Antin/EPA

Alibaba founder Jack Ma’s plan to acquire money transfer company MoneyGram has collapsed after a US government panel rejected it over national security concerns, the most high-profile Chinese deal to be torpedoed by Donald Trump’s administration.

The $1.2bn (£885m) deal’s failure represents a blow forMa, the executive chairman of the Chinese internet conglomerate.

MoneyGram International was to have been bought by Ant Financial, a financial services and payment processing company Ma owns together with Alibaba executives.

He was looking to expand Ant Financial’s footprint amid fierce domestic competition from Chinese rival Tencent’s WeChat payment platform.

Ma, a Chinese citizen who appears frequently with leaders from the highest echelons of the Communist party, had promised the US president in a meeting a year ago that he would create 1m US jobs.

MoneyGram shares fell 8.5% in early trading on Wall Street on Wednesday.

The companies decided to terminate their deal after the committee on foreign investment in the United States (CFIUS) rejected their proposals to mitigate concerns over the safety of data that can be used to identify US citizens, according to sources familiar with the confidential discussions.

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SOURCE: The Guardian, Reuters