(Yicai Global) July 20 -- Ant Group, the parent company of China’s largest mobile payments platform Alipay, plans to go public in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Ant has set in motion the processes for parallel initial public offerings on Shanghai’s Nasdaq-like Star Market and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the Hangzhou-based company said in a statement today. It did not provide any more details.
Established in 2014, Ant is the leading provider of fintech services in China. Its Alipay platform had a 55.4 percent share of the country’s mobile payments market in the first quarter, nearly 17 percent more than its nearest rival Tencent's WeChat Pay, according to Shanghai-based consulting firm iResearch.
The Shanghai and Hong Kong exchanges welcomed the listings, with HKEX Chief Executive Charles Li saying, “We are delighted that Ant Group has today confirmed that they will be seeking a listing on HKEX. We look forward to continuing to welcome the world’s most innovative and progressive global companies to Hong Kong and HKEX.”
Ant is the payments arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding. Alibaba’s stock price [NYSE: BABA] gained more than 4 percent in pre-market trading in New York today.
Ant said the dual listings will help the firm accelerate its goal of digitizing the service industry in China and driving domestic demand, as well as position it to develop global markets with partners and expand investment in technology and innovation.
Shanghai’s Star Market has attracted an increasing number of tech firms and supported their growth since it opened for business in June last year. The new board has listed more than 130 companies so far, with a total market cap of over CNY2.4 trillion (USD343.2 billion).