(Reuters) — A U.S. government panel rejected Ant Financial’s acquisition of U.S. money transfer company MoneyGram International over national security concerns, the companies said on Tuesday, the most high-profile Chinese deal to be torpedoed under the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump.

The $1.2 billion deal’s collapse represents a blow for Jack Ma, the executive chairman of Chinese internet conglomerate Alibaba Group Holding, who owns Ant Financial together with Alibaba executives. He was looking to expand Ant Financial’s footprint amid fierce domestic competition from Chinese rival Tencent Holdings’ WeChat payment platform.

Ma, a Chinese citizen who appears frequently with leaders from the highest echelons of the Communist Party, had promised Trump in a meeting a year ago that he would create 1 million U.S. jobs.

MoneyGram shares were down 8.5 percent at $12.06 in after-market trading.

The companies decided to terminate their deal after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) rejected their proposals to mitigate concerns over the safety of data that can be used to identify U.S. citizens, according to sources familiar with the confidential discussions.

“Despite our best efforts to work cooperatively with the U.S. government, it has now become clear that CFIUS will not approve this merger,” MoneyGram Chief Executive Alex Holmes said in a statement.

A standard CFIUS review lasts up to 75 days, and the companies had gone through the process three times in order to address concerns. Additional security measures and protocols that the companies…

[SOURCE]