How Jack Ma's problems can help fintech in Singapore

Singapore has a small domestic market, but its friendly regulatory environment has made it a trustworthy financial, business and tech hub - a crucial advantage over politically tense China.

Much has been written in the past months about the problems that Jack Ma, China’s maverick billionaire behind Alibaba, ran into last year.

His comments on the Chinese regulatory environment for financial services prompted a clampdown from Beijing and derailment of Ant Group’s IPO from Shanghai and Hong Kong at the very last minute.

Since then, Ma has largely disappeared from the public eye and is reportedly spending time on his hobbies, laying low and avoiding the spotlight.

Less attention, however, is paid to the consequences the Chinese government’s strike against Ant is going to have in and out of China — particularly in Southeast Asia, which is a natural market for expansion of Chinese technology companies.

The future has been postponed

Ant’s woes can be considered an earthquake of epic proportions, though largely unnoticed or underestimated in its gravity, because it affects not the present, but rather the future of fintech innovation in China, Asia and quite likely, the entire world.

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