How big data fears doomed Ant Financial's US dream

Collapse of its bid for MoneyGram reflects mounting scepticism China's giant data aggregators can secure clients’ privacy. This perception could seriously hinder growth.

A US national security watchdog’s refusal to approve Ant Financial’s $1.2 billion acquisition of Dallas-based money transfer firm MoneyGram on Tuesday shows its deep mistrust of how China’s largest technology firms would use data they collect from citizens.

This stance by an arm of the US government can only hinder China’s major data aggregators such as Alibaba, the owner of Ant Financial, Tencent, Baidu and Ping An as they seek to expand overseas, say financial sources.

It also throws up a major roadblock for China’s policymakers who made the acquisition of technology a major plank of their agenda at the 19th Party Congress in October....

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