Shen Guojun, Chairman of Yintai Group, announced to the public on Tuesday that Ant Financial will go public on China’s mainboard from next year.
Shen is known as a close friend of Alibaba’s Jack Ma, and also chairs Cainiao Network. Cainiao Network is a logistics business co-invested in by Alibaba and Yintai Group. Shen said that Internet finance and e-commerce are the most essential parts of Alibaba’s business.
As Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s financial affiliate, Ant Financial spun out from Alibaba in 2011. The company operates Alibaba’s major financial services including “China’s PayPal” Alipay, micro finance service Yu’e Bao and online banking service MYbank.
In July, Ant Financial closed an A-series fundraising with a valuation of over USD 45 billion. Investors included Chinese Social Security Fund, China Development Bank Capital, and four state-owned insurance companies.
Ant Financial’s key product is Alipay, reported to have 326 million yearly active users at last September, double PayPal’s 160 million yearly active users. Paypal returned to the Nasdaq with a USD 52 billion valuation in July.
Officially established in 2014, Ant Financial’s CEO and chairwoman is Peng Lei. Peng Lei is one of Alibaba’s 18 founders and vice-president of human resources. She’s also considered the most probable successor to Jack Ma, should he decide to step down.