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The first global platform play from Ant Financial

The first global platform play from Ant Financial. Source: www.alibabagroup.com
Written by Chris Skinner

Ant Financial is expanding its global platform at an astonishing pace, says Chris Skinner, who examines recent news and business coverage.

One company that’s seeking global domination is Ant Financial. The company has an open stated intention to reach two billion users by 2025. The way in which it will achieve this is through local partnerships, and many of these have been started already:

The above partnerships are ones where Ant Financial has a strategic interest. Others are more tactical, aiming to provide coverage in parts of the world where Chinese tourists can be found:

Ant Financial ant logo. Source: www.alibabagroup.comAnd then there are strategic acquisitions, of which the major one under way since January 2017 is MoneyGram for remittances. Countered by a bid from Euronet, the acquisition has fallen fallow for a while now, which is why Ant Financial is refiling for review with US decision makers this week to determine the outcome.

All in all, it almost feels as though the firm is moving at lightning speed to build a global presence. For example, Stripe announced Ant Financial integration with its APIs this week, along with BBVA announcing a rollout of Alipay in Spain. In fact, it almost feels like there’s a new strategic or tactical move every single day. Why so much activity? Well, the overall focus is on inclusivity, and to bring the 4.5 billion unbanked and underbanked into Ant Financial’s cheap, simple and easy mobile financial ecosystem. It’s a laudable ambition, and building on my blog earlier this week about global fintech specialist players partnering, Ant Financial is already a long way down this route.

This is why I’ve been in Hangzhou recently, to find out in depth what’s happening from those who know. Meantime, if you haven’t been following this closely, here’s a good analysis of what’s been going on, from Caixin Global, the English version of China Economics & Finance.

READ NEXT: MoneyGram – who will buy it?

– This article is reproduced with kind permission. Some minor changes have been made to reflect BankNXT style considerations. Read more here.

About the author

Chris Skinner

Chris Skinner is an independent commentator on the financial markets through the Finanser, and chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club, which he founded in 2004. He is an author of numerous books covering everything from European regulations in banking through to the credit crisis, to the future of banking.

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