Ant Financial

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Ant Financial Services Group
Native name
蚂蚁金服
Formerly
Alipay
IndustryTechnology
Financial services
Payment processor
GenreFinancial
PredecessorAlipay
FoundedOctober 16, 2014; 5 years ago (2014-10-16) in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
HeadquartersXihu District, ,
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Eric Jing
(Executive Chair and Chief Executive Officer)
Cheng Li
(Chief Technology Officer)
Douglas Feagin
(Senior Vice President of Global Business)[1]
ProductsElectronic payment processing
Banking
Mobile payment
BrandsAlipay
Ant Fortune
MYbank
Sesame Credit
Ant Financial Cloud
Koubei
Huabei
ZOLOZ[citation needed]
Number of employees
~9000
Websitewww.antfinancial.com

Ant Financial Services Group (Chinese: 蚂蚁金服), formerly known as Alipay, is an affiliate company of the Chinese Alibaba Group. Ant Financial is the highest valued FinTech company in the world, and the world's most valuable unicorn (start-up) company, with a valuation of US$150 billion.[2][3][4][5]

In March 2019, The Wall Street Journal reported that Ant's flagship Tianhong Yu'e Bao money-market fund was the biggest in the world, with over 588 million users of Ant's mobile payments network Alipay contributing, more than a third of China's population.[6]

History[edit]

Alipay was rebranded as Ant Financial Services on 23 October 2014.[7] In 2015, Ant Financial raised $4.5 billion in a funding round with investors such as China Investment Corp (CIC), CCB Trust, China Life, China Post Group, China Development Bank Capital and Primavera Capital Group.[8] In 2015, the company was valued at about $45 billion.[9] As of 26 April 2016, Ant Financial had around 450 million annual active users, with Credit Suisse estimating that 58% of China’s online payment transactions went through Alipay.[9] In September 2016, Ant Financial bought EyeVerify Inc.[10]

By late January 2017, Ant Financial had a valuation of $60 billion.[10] On 26 January 2017, Ant Financial Services Group announced a deal to acquire MoneyGram International for $880 million. In January 2018, the companies decided to terminate the deal after approval was not granted from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States due to U.S. national security concerns.[10][11][12] The same month, the Cyberspace Administration of China stated that Ant Financial had failed to meet the country's personal data protection standards.[13]

In September 2017, Ant Financial formed a joint venture with Sir Li Ka-shing's CK Hutchison Holdings to bring a digital wallet service in Hong Kong.[14] In June 2018, the company launched a blockchain-powered cash remittance service that will allow real-time transfers of cash between individuals in Hong Kong and the Philippines.[15]

On 9 June 2018, the company raised around US$14 billion, which the Times of India called "the biggest-ever single fund-raising globally by a private company".[16][17]

In November 2019, the company announced to be raising $1 billion for a new fund, with the aim to expand the firm's investment activities in India and Southeast Asia.[18] According to media reports, the fund is meant to provide late-stage funding to startups.[19]

Expansion outside Asia[edit]

Driven by the growing numbers of Chinese tourists around the world, Ant Financial has sought to expand its services into Europe and the United States.[20] In Europe, the company had tripled the number of merchants that are accepting the Alipay app, according to the firm's head of Europe division.[21] Partnerships exist between Alipay and various European digital wallet apps, including ePassi (Finland), Vipps (Norway), MOMO (Spain), Pagaqui (Portugal) and Bluecode (Austria).[22]

On 14 February 2019, Ant Financial acquired the British international money transfer services provider "WorldFirst" for $700 million.[23]

In March 2019, UK's Barclaycard expanded an agreement that enabled British retailers to accept the Alipay app in their stores.[24]

Services[edit]

It operates Alipay, the world's largest mobile and online payments platform [25] as well as Yu’e Bao, the world's largest money-market fund.[26] It also runs Sesame Credit, a third-party credit rating system.[27] As of September 2017, Ant Financial unveiled its facial recognition payment technology through its Alipay services.[28]

In September 2018, the company launched the Ant Financial Technology brand for all of its technology products and services.[29]

The financial company Koubei was created as a joint venture in 2015 by Alibaba and Ant Financial Services Group.[30] Ant Financial also operates credit payment company Huabei, and the online bank called MYbank.[9][31]

In 2015 Ant Financial launched Ant Fortune, a wealth management platform. Yu’e Bao is one of the products on the platform. Ant Fortune offers hundreds products from more than 80 Chinese fund institutions.[32]

In June 2017, Ant Fortune launched a Fortune Account (财富号) service platform that allows financial institutions to publish content and sell their own financial products through the platform.[33]

Subsidiaries[edit]

  • Alipay – a mobile wallet and payments app
  • Huabei (Ant Credit Pay) - a virtual credit card type of product that facilitates credit payments
  • MYbank - a private online bank that lives entirely on the cloud
  • Jiebei (Ant Cash Now) - a consumer loan service
  • Ant Fortune - a comprehensive wealth management app
  • Ant Insurance Services
  • Zhima Credit - an independent credit filling and scoring service for individuals
  • Ant Financial Cloud - a cloud service for financial institutions
  • ZOLOZ - a global biometric-based identity verification platform

Joint Ventures[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Team". Ant Financial. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  2. ^ "2017 Investor Day - Financial Services for Consumers and Small Businesses" (PDF). Retrieved 2019-05-26.
  3. ^ "China's Ant Financial reportedly raises $10 billion at $150 billion valuation". CNBC. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  4. ^ Wang, Yue. "Ant Financial Said To Close $150B Funding Round". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  5. ^ "China's digital-payments giant keeps bank chiefs up at night". The Economist. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  6. ^ "More Than a Third of China Is Now Invested in One Giant Mutual Fund". wsj.com. 2019-03-28. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  7. ^ Shih, Gerry. "Alibaba affiliate Alipay rebranded Ant in new financial services push". Reuters. Retrieved 2018-06-19.
  8. ^ Russell, Jon (January 27, 2017), Alibaba’s Ant Financial is buying MoneyGram for $880M to expand its global presence, TechCrunch, retrieved January 28, 2016
  9. ^ a b c 5 Things to Know About China’s Ant Financial, Wall Street Journal, 26 Apr 2016, retrieved January 28, 2016
  10. ^ a b c Carew, Rick; Demos, Telis (January 26, 2017), China’s Ant Financial, Owned by Trump Ally Jack Ma, Makes U.S. Play, Wall Street Journal, retrieved January 27, 2017
  11. ^ Greg Roumeliotis (January 2, 2018). "U.S. blocks MoneyGram sale to China's Ant Financial on national security concerns". Reuters.
  12. ^ Swanson, Ana; Mozur, Paul (2018-01-02). "MoneyGram and Ant Financial Call Off Merger, Citing Regulatory Concerns". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-12-30.
  13. ^ Goh, Brenda (2018-01-11). "China's cyber watchdog scolds Ant Financial over user privacy breach". Reuters. Retrieved 2019-12-30.
  14. ^ Ho, Prudence (26 September 2017). "Li Ka-shing, Jack Ma Join Forces to Bring Digital Wallet to Hong Kong". Bloomberg.com.
  15. ^ "Ant Financial's Hong Kong venture launches blockchain-based remittance service". Reuters. June 25, 2018.
  16. ^ "Ant raises $14 billion in largest single mop-up". Economic Times, Times of India.
  17. ^ "Alibaba's Ant Financial fintech affiliate raises $14 billion to continue its global expansion". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  18. ^ "Ant Financial raising $1b for new fund to expand investments in India, SEA". DealStreetAsia. Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  19. ^ Saxena, Aparajita (2019-11-28). "Ant Financial to Set Up $1 billion Investment Fund - Reports". Entrepreneur. Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  20. ^ Schulze, Elizabeth (2019-06-04). "Alipay has tripled its merchants in Europe amid 'booming' Chinese tourism market". CNBC. Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  21. ^ Schulze, Elizabeth (2019-06-04). "Alipay has tripled its merchants in Europe amid 'booming' Chinese tourism market". CNBC. Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  22. ^ "Alipay grows Europe partnership to 6 digital wallet apps with 5 million users · TechNode". TechNode. 2019-06-10. Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  23. ^ 郭应喆. "Ant Financial acquires UK payments firm - Chinadaily.com.cn". www.chinadaily.com.cn. Retrieved 2019-06-27.
  24. ^ "Barclaycard opens up to Alipay". Finextra Research. 2019-03-14. Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  25. ^ Heggestuen, John. "Alipay Overtakes PayPal As The Largest Mobile Payments Platform In The World". Business Insider. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  26. ^ Lucas, Louise. "Chinese money market fund becomes world's biggest". Financial Times. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  27. ^ Shu, Catherine. "Data From Alibaba's E-Commerce Sites Is Now Powering A Credit-Scoring Service". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2015-12-22.
  28. ^ Mullen, Jethro; Wang, Serenitie. "Pay with your face at this KFC in China". CNN Tech. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  29. ^ "Ant Financial Group to create one brand across its financial products". The Drum. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  30. ^ J. de la MERCED, MICHAEL (January 24, 2017), Hoping to Strike Gold Again, Silver Lake Leads Investment in Koubei, New York: The New York Times
  31. ^ Evelyn Cheng (June 8, 2018). "How Ant Financial grew larger than Goldman Sachs". CNBC.
  32. ^ Yue Wang (August 18, 2015). "Alibaba Finance Affiliate Launches Fund Investment Smartphone App". Forbes.
  33. ^ He Wei (June 15, 2017). "Ant woos 3rd-party financial shops". China Daily.
  34. ^ "Alipay to purchase 20% shares of bKash". Dhakatribune. April 26, 2018.
  35. ^ Jon Russell (September 26, 2017). "Alibaba's Ant Financial partners with Hutchison to develop its Alipay service in Hong Kong". TechCrunch.

External links[edit]