Financial technology giant Ant Group saw its initial public offering go up in smoke late Tuesday as China suspended the IPO from listing on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

The news of the IPO suspension came a day after majority shareholder Jack Ma was called into a meeting with four regulatory agencies - the People’s Bank of China, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, the China Securities Regulatory Commission, and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange – along with two top executives from Ant Group, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Ant Group had planned a dual listing on the Hong Kong Exchange that was also suspended, causing the company to return funds to investors who had subscribed to the IPO. Ant Group was previously on course to raise at least $34.4 billion, the WSJ said.

Ant Group was on pace to become the world’s most valuable tech startup led by Ma, an Alibaba Group co-founder, with about $3 trillion in orders submitted by investors and a valuation of more than $300 billion.

No concrete details were released from regulators as to why Ant Group’s debut was stalled, but some have said that Ma's controversial comments at a public forum in Shanghai in October may not have sat well with Chinese officials.

“We cannot regulate the future with yesterday’s means,” Ma said during the presentation. “...There’s no systemic financial risks in China because there’s no financial system in China. The risks are a lack of systems.”

Ant Group has since apologized to its investors in a Chinese social media post.

Alibaba founder Jack Ma once again topped the list Alibaba founder Jack Ma once again topped the list Photo: AFP / Ludovic MARIN