Monday, July 30, 2018

Ant financial

When I visited Hangzhou recently I learned a bit about Ant Financial, the offspring of Alibaba and the proprieter of AliPay.  Here's a story from the WSJ about how big they've grown, and the attention it is starting to bring them from Chinese regulators:

Jack Ma’s Giant Financial Startup Is Shaking the Chinese Banking System
Ant Financial is transforming how Chinese run their daily finances, drawing flak from big banks and warning shots from the government

"It handled more payments last year than Mastercard , controls the world’s largest money-market fund and has made loans to tens of millions of people. Its online payments platform completed more than $8 trillion of transactions last year—the equivalent of more than twice Germany’s gross domestic product.

"Ant Financial Services Group, founded by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, has become the world’s biggest financial-technology firm, driving innovations that let people use their phones for buying insurance as easily as groceries, enabling millions to go weeks at a time without using physical cash.

"That success is also putting a target on the company’s back. China, even more than the U.S., is now under pressure to reckon with the disruptive power of a financial-technology giant."

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