Paytm, India’s biggest startup, has finally come out and said that China’s Ant is not planning to sell its stake in the startup, after reports started emerging claiming that it was.
Tensions between India and China have escalated, which has had an impact on not just the power dynamic between the two countries but also on business relations. One of China’s biggest conglomerates, Ant Group, has stake in a lot of Indian startups, including Paytm, the biggest company to come out of the subcontinent’s burgeoning startup scene. However, amid rising acrimony between the two countries, reports started emerging that the Chinese fintech giant was considering selling its stake in the startup. Now, Paytm has come out and denied the speculations, saying that “The information is absolutely false & misleading.”
Paytm spokesperson said, “The information is absolutely false & misleading. There has been no discussion with any of our major shareholders ever, nor any plans, about selling their stake or becoming the controlling shareholder. Our mission is to empower half a billion Indians with digital financial services and pursue the vast opportunity presented by the digital financial revolution in our country. We are seeing a dramatic increase in revenues and acceleration of our path to breakeven.”
The two countries have been involved in a dispute since summer this year. While the issue started with military action, over the course of time, it has spilled into other areas, including business. India banned TikTok earlier this year, along with 58 other Chinese apps, followed by 118 Chinese apps (including PUBG) being banned later on. Moreover, it has recently banned yet another batch of 43 Chinese apps.
Thus, it is being suspected that China will retaliate in some way as well. However, so far, the country has done nothing as significant as banning more than 200 apps. Thus, the speculations that Ant, a Chinese company, selling off its stake in Paytm, India’s biggest startup, make a lot of sense.
However, it looks like the reports are false.