Ant Group Seeks $200B in Dual IPO; May Accelerate its Blockchain & Digital Currency Work
Ant Group, one of the leading FinTech entities in China, is launching a dual Initial Public Offering (IPO) in both the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges. The firm, which is also an Alibaba affiliate, enjoys significant market dominance in the Chinese payments sector, being the parent company of Alipay. According to the latest valuation by Bank of America and JP Morgan analysts, Ant Group's value stands at $200 billion.
This move marks a significant milestone for China's blockchain space, which looks to take a global lead as per President's Xi Jinping directives back in October 2019. To put it into perspective, Coinbase, which is also looking to launch a direct listing, was last valued at $8 billion, a drop in the ocean compared to what Ant Group plans to debut a public IPO at. Notably, the Chinese FinTech giant has been active in the blockchain sector, and it is not surprising that the dual IPO aims to further digitize China's economy as reported by Bloomberg,
“accelerate its goal of digitizing the service industry in China,” the company said in a statement.
Some of the blockchain projects in which Ant Group is involved include a tracking platform developed to facilitate cross-border payments, monitor supply chains, and keep tabs on charity donations. In addition to this, the firm is believed to be actively contributing to the preparation of China's digital yuan public rollout. As of press date, Alipay has acquired at least five patents based on the digital yuan, also dubbed ‘DC/EP'.
China Assumes Blockchain Pace Setter Role
Going by industry developments, China seems to be way ahead of most jurisdictions when it comes to the adoption of blockchain and affiliated tech. Though the Asian giant banned cryptocurrencies, it has moved fast to fill in the gap with a more viable option that favors how the CCP operates. In this regard, China kicked off the digital yuan pilot in four cities and paid some of its public servants in DC/EP barely two months ago. It is now looking towards a more practical phase where the fiat RMB in circulation will probably be wiped out and replaced by the DC/EP.
The country's capital, Beijing, has also released a 145-page blueprint detailing its intention to become a top blockchain hub. While it may take time to shift most activity from Hong Kong, the recent security laws that stripped this financial hub, its autonomy may accelerate the move to Beijing. As for now, investors appear to still be confident given Ant Group's decision to launch in Hong Kong as well. Despite the internal ambiguity going forward, it is evident that China is slowly setting the global pace in blockchain adoption and oversight frameworks.