Text: | Print|

Alibaba spinoff Ant Financial launches

2014-10-17 08:46 Global Times Web Editor: Qian Ruisha

Ant Financial, a company that was spun off from e-commerce giant Alibaba's previous financial arm, was officially launched on Thursday, signaling Alibaba's ambition to expand its financial landscape.

Alibaba had stripped its financial services before the listing in New York. Ant Financial, now an affiliated company of Alibaba, has integrated the latter's payment, financing, insurance and wealth management businesses, including its third-party payment platform Alipay, online monetary fund Yu'ebao, peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform Zhaocaibao, and the newly approved private banking business.

The financial group will mainly serve small and micro-sized enterprises as well as individual consumers, by leveraging its big data exploration and Internet technology, executives from Ant Financial told a press conference.

The move came shortly after the financial arm on September 29 attained a license from China's banking authority to set up a private bank, and signals Alibaba's ambition to build up its financial empire after debuting in New York in September.

"The launch of the new company shows a more clear strategy - developing from an online payment platform to a comprehensive financial services provider," Wang Weidong, an industry analyst with Internet consultancy iResearch Consulting Group, told the Global Times Thursday.

Ant Financial is funded by domestic investment, with its management and employees holding a 40 percent stake. Alibaba's founder Jack Ma Yun's stake in Ant Financial will not surpass the stakes that he holds in Alibaba, said Peng Lei, CEO of Ant Financial. Ma holds an 8.9 percent stake in Alibaba.

"The domestic-funded capital structure ensures financial security and can be easily regulated by Chinese financial authorities," Wang said.

Peng said Ant Financial has not set a timetable for an IPO. Beijing Business Today newspaper reported Thursday that the financial group is likely to get listed in the NASDAQ­-style growth enterprises board in Shenzhen, citing an unnamed source from the company.

Ant Financial also plans to expand its overseas businesses, with the aim of providing the infrastructure for global e-commerce companies, said Peng Yijie, vice president of Ant Financial's international business.

CEO Peng Lei noted Ant Financial will mainly offer basic payment services to overseas customers, but will not launch any wealth management products or lending services in the near future.

Alipay is the leading mobile payment platform in China with a market share of nearly 80 percent, according to iResearch, while it is a newcomer in the global market with rivals such as eBay's PayPal and local payment services. Apple Inc is also reportedly to launch its mobile payment service Apple Pay on Monday.

"Alipay's market potential should not be neglected given the growing trade between China and many economies," Wang said. "But there are also difficulties such as how to fit into the regulatory environments in different economies and gain trust from consumers with diverse backgrounds."

Alipay currently owns 17.85 million overseas active users, mainly based in countries such as Russia, the US and Brazil, according to Peng Yijie.

Comments (0)
Most popular in 24h
  Archived Content
Media partners:

Copyright ©1999-2018 Chinanews.com. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.