The Jack Ma-controlled Ant Group finally sets in movement what the marketplace has been expecting for years. The monetary services and payments behemoth said Monday that it has kickstarted the process of a concurrent initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and Shanghai Stock market’s Nasdaq-style Star Market.

The public listing will enable Ant, which operates the Alipay wallet utilized throughout Alibaba’s e-commerce networks, to work towards several goals: digitize China’s service industry, such as getting mama and pop stores in far-flung areas to use its payments service; drive domestic needs, such as being a channel of government-issued vouchers for customers in the middle of coronavirus pandemic; expand worldwide through its e-wallet partners in 9 countries; and finally, purchase new technologies.

Ant’s option of the HKSE and Star Market follows the most recent pattern of Chinese tech companies trading closer to home as the cities make it easier for high-risk, innovation-driven firms to access funding. The Star exchange, very first unveiled by President Xi Jinping, debuted in 2015 as Xi called for China to be highly independent.

The 2 markets have “unlocked for global financiers to access leading-edge innovation companies from the most vibrant economies worldwide and for those business to have greater access to the capital markets. We are enjoyed have the opportunity to play a part in this advancement,” stated Eric Jing, executive chairman of Ant Group, in a declaration.

Bankers are valuing Ant at a staggering $200 billion, according to sources from Reuters. The business decreased to comment on its valuation.

The firm just recently dropped its old brand name “< a class="crunchbase-link"href="https://crunchbase.com/organization/ant-financial"target="_ blank"data-type="organization" data-entity =” ant-financial” > Ant Financial”for “Ant Group”to scale back its focus on internal monetary items. A current filing from Alibaba, which holds 33% in Ant, showed that about half of Ant’s 2019 earnings came from technological facilities it supplied to enterprise customers rather than proprietary financial items.

Alipay, which now claims 1.3 billion users around the world, has over the years broadened from a simple payments app into an online entrance to third-party monetary products such as micro-loans and insurance coverage. The app also supports a multitude of day-to-day services like Starbucks subscription and telemedicine, all powered by mini-apps, similar to WeChat has actually grown itself from a messenger into an all-in-one service platform.

Article curated by RJ Shara from Source. RJ Shara is a Bay Area Radio Host (Radio Jockey) who talks about the startup ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investments, policies and more on her show The Silicon Dreams. The show streams on Radio Zindagi 1170AM on Mondays from 3.30 PM to 4 PM.