Category Archives: Alipay

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Ant Financial to Finance Blockchain Innovations with USD 14 Billion

Ant Financial – Alibaba affiliate has raised approximately $14 billion to accelerate technological innovations. The equity fund targets top technologies including Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things and the blockchain technology. The fund was raised in company’s series C round funding.

Ant Financial is a Chinese financial service provider with over 800 million subscribers using its payment services every year. It is also an affiliate of Alibaba, the China-based giant for commercial services. It was founded in 2004 as Alipay and was rebranded later on in 2014 to Ant Financial.

The announcement came just days after a report indicated that the firm is supporting technological services. Thus confirming the company’s commitment to support the development of the technologies as indicated in the report.

Eric Jing, the CEO of Ant Financial dismissed the ICO speculations circulated over the media in March saying that the institution’s prime focus was on cross blockchain compatibility projects.

Mr. Jing added that they will continue to invest in technology to fulfill the unmet financial service inclusions needs. He said that the focus is to build an ecosystem that would enable everyone to benefit from the development of the digital economy anywhere they might be.

Ant Financial has now shifted focus from consumer-related financial services to technology development, but with a keen eye for using innovation in technology to meet the unfulfilled financial needs.

The objective of Ant Financial was to provide consumer financial services. The announcement to focus on technological development is not surprising. This follows a recent crackdown on the risks of the financial system carried out by the Chinese government as reported by Reuters on Tuesday.

Both Ant Financial and Alibaba are not new in the development of blockchain applications. Ant Financial has extended support to blockchain-based charity platform. Alibaba, on the other hand, has tested its flagship project for tracking international shipments on the blockchain.

 

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Chinese E-Commerce Giant Says Blockchain Not A Bubble

Founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, Jack Ma, has commented recently that he doesn’t see blockchain as a bubble, unlike sees bitcoin, which is something he has no plans to pursue.

The e-commerce boss made the comments at the 2nd World Intelligence Conference, which was held in Tainjin in Northern China on May 26th. At the conference, he reflected on research that he’d been involved in over the years, saying that DLT has the potential to address data privacy and security at all levels, both private and governmental. He also referred to the current fintech space as an “era of big data.”

Alibaba reported $39.9 billion in its latest Q4 earnings, with a trading volume of “trillions of transactions.”  Its founder went on to say that he was disappointed by the fact that much of the blockchain industry’s interest still comes from speculators, who view the technology as a “huge gold mine”. Speaking with CNBC Shanghai, Ma said that he was wary of bitcoin, even at its recent hiatus back in December 2017, stating:

“I don’t know about Bitcoin at all. I’m particularly puzzled. Even if it can really work, the rules of global trade and the financial system will be completely changed. I don’t think we are ready. So I’m still paying attention to Alipay… to the US dollar, and the euro. We have a team that studies blockchain, but Bitcoin is not something that I want to pursue. We don’t care about Bitcoin.”

Last year, Ma became the richest man in Asia, according to Bloomberg, with his net worth surging to $41.8 bln. Alibaba’s mobile payment app AliPay, reportedly has 450 million users. However, the company hasn’t embraced cryptocurrencies and has recently seen one of its subsidiaries, Taobao, ban ICO related advertising.

Alipay, now the Ant Financial Services Group, introduced blockchain technology in 2016 to improve its accountability while working with the Chinese charity industry.

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