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Ant Group cuts funds for overseas partners ahead of IPO · TechNode

(Image credit: Ant Group)

Ant Group, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s payments affiliate, is cutting support and funding to the overseas e-wallet companies it has invested in as the company pulls back from ambitions to become a global leader in payments, Reuters reported.

Why it matters: Ant Group has made headlines over the past few months over its plans for a dual listing in Hong Kong and Shanghai. The company aims to raise $34.4 billion—potentially the largest IPO in history.

  • Since 2015, the company has invested in a slew of e-wallet firms around the world as it sought to expand its overseas presence, simultaneously launching its own payments platform Alipay in several markets globally.

Details: Ant Group is now scaling back the hundreds of millions of dollars the company spent each year on its overseas fintech investments, while bringing its support employees back home, according to Reuters’ sources in nine countries.

  • The move started in late 2019 as the company began to prepare for its much-anticipated initial public offering (IPO) and grappled with regulatory changes at home.
  • Ant has also reportedly hit the brakes on plans to create a global QR code-based payments system that would connect all the e-wallets it has funded.
  • The comany has invested in around a dozen fintech companies including India’s Paytm, Myanmar’s Wave Money, the UK’s Worldfirst, and Thailand’s Truemoney.
  • The company still plans to invest abroad, reserving around 10% of the $34.4 billion it hopes to raise in its IPO for overseas investments.
  • A person familiar with the matter told Reuters that Ant plans to provide initial support to the overseas e-wallet firms it invests in and then hopes to see them succeeed by themselves.

READ MORE: Ant Group to close Hong Kong order books early on strong IPO demand

Christopher Udemans is a Shanghai-based data and graphics reporter. He covers Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, and cybersecurity. You can contact him at chrisudemans [at] technode [dot] com.

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