On The March: Ant Group, China's Fintech Sensation
Umer Jamshaid 1 month ago Tue 27th October 2020 | 10:30 AM
Beijing, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 27th Oct, 2020 ) :With a name belying its giant ambitions, China's Ant Group on Tuesday launched a history-making $34 billion IPO in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Backed by Jack Ma, China's richest man who founded the Alibaba e-commerce empire from his bedroom two decades ago, Ant is a financial technology titan that is stitched into the everyday life of hundreds of millions of Chinese people.
A former teacher, Ma started in digital sales with the Alibaba e-commerce giant but his ambitions then turned to the potential for simplifying personal finance in China.
He envisioned a cashless society based on "trust and credit" where buyers' cash is held in escrow by Alipay for merchants to send their goods with a guarantee of return for any unhappy customers.
In interviews Ma likes to recount how the start of Alipay was met with derision, saying: "Everybody said 'Jack this is the most stupid model we've ever seen, nobody will use it.'" It now claims one billion users, in part thanks to Ma's gift for navigating China's red tape and gatekeepers.
The corporate spiel says the Ant name derives from the company mantra of empowering ordinary consumers: "We believe small is beautiful, small is powerful." - Colonising Chinese finance - Ant's reach is astonishing.
That equated to $17.
6 trillion in payments as of June this year, 25 times more than US giant Paypal.
Its financial products have revolutionised personal finance across a vast country where around 10 percent of the population remains unbanked.
Meanwhile, Sesame Credit gives quicktime loans to individuals and small businesses, and Bangnitou -- an artifical intelligence powered investment adviser -- hoovered up 200,000 customers within six months of its launch.
- On the march - Armed with the data of hundreds of millions of people, boundary-pushing AI and pockets soon to be stuffed with IPO cash, Ant says it intends to keep innovating and rolling into new markets.
Domestically, Alipay is pushing facial recognition payments technology.