China targets mobile payments oligopoly with clearing mandate

China targets mobile payments oligopoly with clearing mandate — Financial Times — “China’s central bank has ordered online payment groups to operate through a centralised clearing house, a move likely to undercut the dominance of Ant Financial and Tencent by forcing them to share valuable transaction data with competitors… The latest PBoC instructions require all payment companies to connect to the clearing house by October 15 and to channel all payments through it by June 30.”


Alibaba’s self-service Tao Cafe takes e-shopping offline

Alibaba’s self-service Tao Cafe takes e-shopping offline — Xinhua — “Entry into Tao Cafe in Hangzhou, capital of east China’s Zhejiang Province, is through ticket gates similar to those at subway stations, however, customers scan their smart phones instead of tickets… The 200-square-meter store offering beverages, fast food and snacks can accommodate 50 customers at a time. To enter and make a purchase, shoppers require only a smart phone with Alibaba’s Taobao ecommerce app.”


Jack Ma’s Ant Financial nearly doubles profits amid deal push

Jack Ma’s Ant Financial nearly doubles profits amid deal push — Bloomberg — “The company controlled by Alibaba’s billionaire co-founder Jack Ma racked up an 86% jump in pretax profit to 5.56 billion yuan ($814 million) in the year ended March, according to Bloomberg’s calculations… Since starting as Alipay in 2004, Ant Financial has grown into an online giant that controls more than half of China’s $5.5 trillion mobile payments market.”


Meet the Chinese finance giant that’s secretly an AI company

Meet the Chinese finance giant that’s secretly an AI company — MIT Technology Review — “The smartphone payments business Ant Financial is using computer vision, natural language processing, and mountains of data to reimagine banking, insurance, and more… The company — which already operates a hugely successful smartphone payments business in China — aims to upend many areas of personal finance using machine learning and AI.”



Ant Financial enters Hong Kong market with AlipayHK mobile wallet

Ant Financial enters Hong Kong market with AlipayHK mobile wallet — South China Morning Post — “The mobile wallet and payments app, dubbed AlipayHK, is similar to its Chinese counterpart Alipay — registered users are able to top up their mobile wallets and make in-store payments that are settled in Hong Kong dollars at merchants such as Watsons, Fortress and at supermarkets like ParknShop.”




Feed for stories featuring Ant Financial.

• Find a list of all the companies and other organisations that have been featured in NFC World in our directory.