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Ant’s Alipay app is used by hundreds of millions of shoppers for everyday purchases, including at farmer’s markets.  The company’s Alipay app has become an essential payment tool for more than 730 million users, as well as a platform for obtaining small loans and buying insurance and investment products. Ant’s Alipay app is used by hundreds of millions of shoppers for everyday purchases, including at farmer’s markets. Credit...Mark Schiefelbein/Associated Press But competing against China’s politically connected financial institutions always came with risks. Regulators have looked warily upon Ant’s fast growth in certain areas, fearful it might become too big to rescue in the event of a meltdown. Ant has pivoted in response. Instead of using its own money to extend loans, the company now primarily acts as an agent for banks, introducing them to individual borrowers and small enterprises that they might not otherwise reach. It describes itself as a technology partner to banks, not a competitor or a disrupter. This business model works just fine for many of Ant’s investors, evidently. The company’s expected market valuation after the dual listing, more than $310 billion, would make it worth more than many global banks. Mr. Ma, already China’s richest man, would become even richer. Still, Ant’s future remains at the mercy of Chinese regulators, whose views on the melding of tech and finance are still evolving.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/03/technology/ant-ipo-jack-ma-summoned.html [Production] [Cars]
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