Ant Group’s Alipay+ set for major global expansion

Estimated read time 2 min read

A | a-+=

Ant Group, the Chinese financial technology giant, is gearing up for a substantial expansion of its cross-border mobile payment service Alipay+. The company’s international arm, Ant International, is set to undergo a major organizational overhaul, including a spin-off, as it looks to boost its global presence.

Douglas Feagin, unit president of Ant International, revealed plans to significantly increase the number of partner wallets supported by Alipay+ this year, potentially by more than 10. Additionally, the company aims to achieve a double-digit percentage growth in international merchants served by Alipay+. The strategy is to first cover all Asian countries and then expand into Europe and the US.

Alipay+ currently supports 25 digital wallets and covers 88 million merchants across 57 markets. In Japan, Alipay+ has expanded to support 16 Asian mobile wallets and banking apps, allowing tourists from Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, the Philippines, and Malaysia to shop in Japan using payment apps from their home countries. These transactions now account for 10% of total tourist spending in Japan.

This international push follows Ant Group’s recent reorganization, its most significant since its nearly US$40 billion IPO was halted in late 2020. Under the new plan, Ant International will become an independent unit with its own board of directors, eventually leading to a full-fledged spin-off. The restructuring aims to enable Ant Group to focus on artificial intelligence, global expansion, and the development of Alipay.

Since the IPO suspension, Ant Group has paid a hefty fine for regulatory violations, bolstered the capital base of its credit unit, and distanced itself from Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma. With Ma’s voting rights significantly diluted, the Chinese central bank has recognized Ant as having no controller, a crucial step for the company to resume its IPO plans.

Ant International also announced a sustainability project named Programme Sirus, in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation and the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The project aims to help micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises reduce their carbon footprint, showcasing Ant’s commitment to environmental responsibility alongside its ambitious global expansion.

(Source: SCMP | Singapore Business Review | MSN)

You May Also Like