Ant Financial Going Public in China

May 2, 2016         By: Ryan Kennedy

Yet another Chinese financial technology firm is going public, and this one is doing it in a big way.

Ant Financial, a division of Chinese tech giant Alibaba, is getting ready to launch into the public sphere.

The firm, which is known officially as Zhejiang Ant Small & Micro Financial Services Group, is the owner of Alipay, the massively successful online payment platform in China.

Now Jack Ma, Alibaba’s CEO, wants to take the subsidiary public for a hefty sum.

Ant Financial’s parent company wants to float the firm in an initial public offering (IPO) worth $3.5 billion, giving Ant Financial a valuation of $60 billion in total.

Some analysts have noted how odd it is for a larger company to float another that may be dependent on a parent company.

But others point out that Ant Financial’s core service, Alipay, is successful enough to run on its own.

The fintech firm is set to launch sometime this year, and it will be the biggest IPO in China since 2010 when Agricultural Bank of China offered $22.1 billion worth of shares.

Alipay is by far the most popular online and mobile payment platform in China, giving it huge potential.

The service has more than 400 million registered users and about 100 million transactions every day.

With an IPO, Alipay has the opportunity to extend abroad and challenge other global payment services.

In addition to Alipay, Ant Financial owns Yu’ebao, the biggest money-market fund in China. Ant Financial’s IPO may spark a tech sector boom in China similar to the booms being seen in the US and UK.