China exerts more pressure on Ant Group

China is turning up the heat on the the country's tech giant Alibaba, its lending arm Ant, and billionaire Jack Ma.

On Sunday, the central bank announced it had asked Ant to shake up its lending and consumer finance operations.

This is just the latest volley from Beijing aimed at bringing Ma's sprawling financial empire to heel, after he publicly criticized the country's regulatory system in October for stifling innovation.

Those comments are said to have prompted Chinese regulators to suspend Ant's IPO in Hong Kong and Shanghai in November.

Ant was launched in 2004 and is China's biggest digital payments app with some 730 million monthly users, over time it has expanded into loans, insurance, and more.

At $37 billion, its IPO had been set to be the world's largest stock market debut.

Just last week, Chinese authorities also launched an antitrust investigation into Ma's e-commerce platform Alibaba.

On the latest measures, Ant said in a statement it would establish a "rectification" working group and fully implement regulatory requirements.

Representatives from the company met officials from the People's Bank of China over the weekend.

Regulators are said to have accused Ant of poor governance, squeezing out competitors, and harming consumer interests.