(This Oct. 8 story corrects paragraph 2 to say Trump administration officials, not Trump, are considering the move)
HONG KONG (Reuters) – Ant Group’s $35 billion initial public offering (IPO) is unlikely to suffer from any U.S. restrictions on the Chinese financial technology giant due to its very limited overseas presence, potential investors and analysts said.
Trump administration officials are considering curbs on Ant, an affiliate of Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba BABA.N, and Tencent 0700.HK over concerns their payment platforms threaten national security, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday.
If implemented, the restrictions would illustrate how Trump’s administration is seeking to prevent Chinese companies from embedding themselves in the U.S. financial system before they become a significant competitive threat.
Ant said it was not aware of any discussions within the administration about restrictions. Tencent and the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Ant is working towards a dual-listing in Shanghai and Hong Kong possibly as soon as this month in what sources have said could be the world’s largest IPO, surpassing oil giant Saudi Aramco’s 2222.SE $29.4 billion float in December.
Ant’s Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat payment platforms are used primarily by Chinese citizens with accounts in renminbi. Most of their U.S. interactions are with merchants accepting payments from Chinese travelers and businesses in the country.
“Basically the overseas revenue accounts for maybe 5% or less for Ant Group. That means for the U.S. revenue contribution it would be even less than that,” said Morningstar senior equity analyst Chelsey Tam.
“I’m sure investors will ask about it during the roadshow but it’s quite easy for investors to understand that if Alipay and Wechat Pay go overseas the U.S. is probably not the top priority,” Tam said.
Ant, which makes 95% of