China’s Ant Financial seeks stake in Thailand’s Ascend Money

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Ant Financial Service Group, an affiliate of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba, is looking to buy a twenty percent stake in Ascend Money, an online payment provider in Thailand, according to a notice on China’s Ministry of Commerce website.

Alipay Hong Kong, part of Alibaba’s Ant Financial Services Group, is also looking at increasing its stake in Ascend to thirty percent at a later date.

Ascend Money’s subsidiaries include True Money, an online payment service provider, and Ascend Nano, a financial services provider.

Ant Financial, which has the dominant online payment platform in China, aims to expand overseas even as competition from Tencent’s rival Wechat payment system is on the rise.

The firm also continues its domestic expansion, buying up twenty percent of financial data provider Shanghai Suntime Information Technology for $35 million, according to a report in Reuters last week.

Ant Financial Services Group, which is currently values at around $60 billion, offers online payment services, insurance and various management products. Its main Alipay business was founded in 2005. The firm closed a round of funding in April worth around $4.5 billion.

SOURCE: Reuters.

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