UPDATE 1-Chinese ant releases financial self-discipline rules amid further scrutiny

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BEIJING, March 12 (Reuters) – China’s Ant Group released a set of financial self-discipline rules on Friday as part of the country’s heightened review of fintech regulations.

The release of the rules, the first of their kind issued by the group, comes about four months after China suspended the fintech giant’s $37 billion plan for a stock listing in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Chinese regulators have tightened their grip on fintech firms, amid concerns over systemic financial risks brought by the financial empire affiliated with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group.

In the statement, Ant said its consumer lending platforms would not lend to miners and would prevent small business loans from flowing into stock and property markets.

The group’s credit scoring service, Zhima Credit, will also not be available to financial institutions, including microcredit lenders, it said.

Previously, Ant lowered borrowing limits for some young users of its Huabei virtual credit card product. The reduced credit limit aims to promote more “rational” consumption habits among users, he said.

(Reporting by Cheng Leng, Yingzhi Yang and Ryan Woo; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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