Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA) recently bought about a third of its founder Jack Ma’s financial services business Ant Financial.
Alibaba now controls more of Ant Financial
As Ant Financial rolled out some newly issued equity, Alibaba was quick to acquire a 33% stake in the company. Started by Jack Ma, both companies have captured a huge market space in their respective categories and have become the biggest tech corps in China. Thanks to the acquisition, Alibaba will not pay a part of its pre-tax profits to the e-commerce company. Previously, it paid a 37.5% share of these profits.
The two corporations have been linked in the past but the recent acquisition of share will stamp their close relationship. Ant Financial developed Alipay to help Alibaba shoppers pay for their goods when shopping online. The acquisition comes at an interesting time as Daniel Zhang is getting ready to drive the Alibaba business.
Since debuting Alipay in 2004, Ant Financial has become a prominent financial services company in China that handled everything from credit scoring to micro lending businesses. The $150 billion company also operates the biggest money-market fund in the country. Not only this, Ant Financial is now striking new deals in Thailand and India.
Speaking at the company’s annual investor conference recently, Zhang said,
“Every year we generate new stuff and we acquire new stuff. We never stop. Payment and financial services are very important pillars in Alibaba’s system.”
Alibaba marches on
Zhang has some new and ambitious goals for Alibaba. The company wants to have over a billion active users who will contribute at least 10 trillion-Yuan worth of transactions to their business by the year 2023. Ant’s financial services business will open up direct access to on-demand services and e-commerce. Ant Financial will also get to use loan demand and consumer credit information from Alibaba.
Ant has to take on its bigger rivals like Tencent Holdings Ltd. and also ensure that it manages to stop capital outflows from its business. The company is suffering because of the trade tensions with the US. Despite the problems, it projects 33% growth in revenue for the year ending March 2020. The company has investments in several up and coming services. It has utilized a total of $83 billion for acquiring Magic Leap and AR Company and SenseTime Group Ltd., an artificial intelligence company.