Chinese tech giant Ant Group has just sent its intimidating stature through the roof, just like its share sales. The company recorded an initial public offering (IPO) of $34.4 billion. Formerly known as Ant Financial and Alipay, Ant Group is an affiliate company of the Chinese Alibaba Group. Ant Group is also now the world’s highest-valued FinTech company, and most valuable unicorn (start-up) company, with a target valuation of $280 billion.
BBC estimated Ant’s net worth to be $313 billion while the NY Times quantified it thus: “At that price, the company would be worth around $310 billion,” at the time anticipating that Ant money would be an unsquishable amount surpassing Saudi Arabia’s state-run oil company Saudi Aramco that was just a shy of $30 million raised when it went public in 2019.
And that this listing would be far bigger than Alibaba’s (), it’s sister company, which raised $25 billion when it traded on the New York Stock Exchange exactly six years ago in 2014. Ant shares will be sold in Hong Kong and Shangai markets.
Ant is selling just about 11 per cent of its shares. Ma’s Ant shares are estimated to be worth about $17 billion, raising his overall net worth to something akin to $80 billion, squarely making him the wealthiest man in China. Ma is due to profit handsomely from the share sale.
Ant has quickly grown into one of the most powerful tech companies in the world. It has carved out its name in every aspect of financial life in China, from investment accounts and micro-savings products to insurance and credit scores.
The relationship between Ant and Alipay is one where Ant is the parent company, running Alipay, China’s leading online payment platform. China has pretty much phased out cash, cheques and credit cards and now thrive on e-payment gadgets and apps. Transactions for the year ending June are said to have hit an unimaginable $17.6 trillion with most of its 1.3 billion users based in China, the rest coming from Asia. Ma largely owns Ant, and he has, with his knack for unbridled success, fast turned it into one of the world’s most formidable tech companies, weaving its thread into every fabric of China’s life.
Ant Group predominantly carry out their services in China. They are one of the largest players when it comes to creating the infrastructure and platforms that support the digital transformation of the service industry. Ant strives to ensure that all consumers and small businesses to have equal access to financial and other services that are inclusive, green, and sustainable. Having pioneered digital payments in China, Ant Group has since expanded its service offerings through technology and innovation to enable digital finance for consumers and businesses.
Ant Group’s origins date back to when Alipay was created in the nascent days of e-commerce. The point was to solve the trust issue between buyers and sellers in online transactions. Their innovative payment solution bridged the trust gap, facilitated online transactions, and underpinned the development of e-commerce in China. Allowing the company to emerge as the largest digital payment service in China.
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