Several factors behind blockage of Ant IPO: Ant's business model arguably takes advantage of state-owned banks by passing on financial risk to state-owned banks while capturing fintech profits/valuation boost. Kind of like if PayPal offered banking services but was underwritten by too-big-to-fail banks and the US government would ultimately have to bail those out if things went haywire. Relatedly, Ant was seen as being a source of systemic financial risk because it could sidestep financial regulation by being a tech company instead of being regulated like a bank. Jack Ma (Alibaba/Ant founder) openly criticized government policy on financial regulations. Many major shareholders of Ant are associated with non-Xi power base (many connected to former president Jiang Zemin, including Jiang's grandson). Ant already had some major state investors like government pensions funds and sovereign wealth funds. But apparently this wasn't enough to provide political cover? Ant is reorganizing its business to be less directly competitive with the state banks, and letting the state banks take stakes in the company. Maybe after they do this, the government will let Ant go IPO.