China’s gigantic Ant just grew bigger — $14bn bigger
Shanghai — Chinese digital payments giant Ant Financial said on Friday that it had raised $14bn in its latest financing round, making it the world’s largest fintech company ahead of an expected mammoth initial public offering (IPO). The cash infusion for Ant, an affiliate of e-commerce heavyweight Alibaba, provides fresh resources as its payments platform Alipay battles Tencent for supremacy in the vast and growing market for global digital transactions and other financial services. Ant said in a statement that the funds would be invested in new technologies and to accelerate Alipay’s expansion abroad and into new sectors. Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Pay are China’s online-payments leaders, profiting handsomely as consumers throw themselves into e-commerce, ordering goods and services via mobile apps and online.