Ant Group, which operates the popular mobile payment platform Alipay, has begun discussions for a dual listing on Shanghai’s tech-focused Star Board and the Hong Kong stock exchange, according to a press release issued on Monday.
The company is seeking a valuation of more than $200 billion, according to a Reuters report published earlier this month. The press release doesn’t contain information on the size and timing of the planned offering, and an Ant spokesperson declined to comment. The group was previously valued at $150 billion after a May 2018 funding round.
“The innovative measures implemented by Shanghai Star market and the Hong Kong stock exchange have opened the doors for global investors to access leading edge technology companies from the most dynamic economies in the world and for those companies to have greater access to the capital markets,” said Ant Group Executive Chairman Eric Jing, referring to recent reforms in both exchanges that promised to reduce regulatory red tape for tech companies and allow them to list faster.
Ant Group was previously known as Ant Financial Services Group, but changed its name in June. It was established in 2014 to process payments for China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba, and now has about 900 million active users in the country who also use the platform for services such as buying insurance and wealth management products.
The group is also seeking to expand its enterprise business, particularly through partnerships with financial institutions including China’s state-run banks. In a January interview with Forbes Asia, Ant’s president of advanced technology business group, Geoff Jiang, said the company is aiming to help more banks go digital by providing them with tech products and services such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and risk-control software.
I am a Beijing-based writer covering China’s technology sector. I contribute to Forbes, and previously I freelanced for SCMP and Nikkei. Prior to Beijing, I spent six months as an intern at TIME magazine’s Hong Kong office. I am a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @yueyueyuewang