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Alibaba Shares Rise After Jack Ma Cedes Control of Ant Group

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By Bingyan Wang

Shares of Alibaba Group Holdings are higher following news that co-founder Jack Ma is ceding control of affiliate company Ant Group Co., potentially paving the way to revive plans for an initial public offering by the fintech giant.

Alibaba’s Hong Kong-listed shares advanced as much as 8.3% in early trade Monday, widening its year-to-date gains to 27%. Shares are outperforming a 1.7% gain in the city’s broader Hang Seng Index and helping lift the city’s tech index by 3.0%. Alibaba is a shareholder of Ant.

Ant, which owns China’s most widely used digital-payment platform, Alipay, has been overhauling its operations amid a government crackdown that began with Beijing calling off the company’s plans for an IPO in late 2020. The new change of control, announced by Ant over the weekend, moves the company a step closer to restructuring.

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Alibaba added Sunday that its equity interest in Ant remains unchanged.

Shares of Alibaba were last up 7.6%. Shares of unit Alibaba Health Information Technology Ltd. are 8.0% higher.

Write to Bingyan Wang at bingyan.wang@wsj.com

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