Alibaba is the world’s largest consumer wealth management platform

Ant Financial has revealed a surge to more than 600 million users and disclosed for the first time the scale of its wealth management business, in information for potential investors in its latest $10 billion fundraising. The document… underscores the extent to which the fintech arm of Jack Ma’s internet giant Alibaba dominates online finance in China, as well as the challenge it poses to the country’s banks. In the memo, Ant claims a rise in user numbers to 622 million. Alipay, Ant’s core payments arm, cites 520 million users on its website… According to the document, the Ant Financial Services group’s wealth management business now has assets under management of Rmb2.2 trillion ($345 billion) — a figure not previously disclosed that would make Ant the world’s largest consumer wealth management platform. Of that sum, Rmb1.5 trillion sits in Yu’E Bao, the world’s biggest money market fund… Ant is seeking about $10 billion in its latest funding round, which would value the company at about $160 billion. Investors say the fundraising is already oversubscribed. But the information for investors also highlights a potential drawback for the company. Ant is attracting regulatory scrutiny from Beijing about the scale of its threat to the core business of the state-owned lenders, despite the company’s insistence that it is more a partner than a threat to the banks.
Henny Sender