Ep. 74: Ant Group: The biggest IPO…ever?


Play episode:

In episode 74 of Tech Buzz China, co-hosts Rui Ma and Ying Lu talk in depth about Ant Group, Alibaba’s financial affiliate, ahead of its upcoming mega-IPO. Media reports that the company — which already holds the record for “largest-ever single private fundraise” for its $14 billion raise in 2018 — seeks to raise $30 billion. That figure would indeed make it the largest public offering the world has ever seen. 

We first covered Ant Group over two years ago in Episode 11, titled “After Alibaba, Team Jack Ma’s Newest Centacorn: Ant Financial.” At the time, Ant had said it planned to transition from the payments business, which accounted for over half of revenues, into a company that would rely mostly on “technical services” for revenue. Looking back, we can see that Ant has achieved that — and more. This year, its revenues total $20 billion with a 30% net margin, and it has several diversified, significant, and growing revenue streams. But can it sustain this growth? 

Listen to find out: What are the major products and services that Ant offers? In what ways are these offerings mapped to the evolving financial behaviors of Chinese consumers, as well as to the existing product landscape? Where is China’s very young consumer finance industry headed, and what does that mean for Ant Group’s expansion potential and even its investments? What are its weaknesses? Is it more of a finance company, or a tech platform? 

Yes, Rui is still writing her e-book on ByteDance! You’ll want to get updates on it by subscribing to our newsletter, at techbuzzchina.com. As always, past transcripts and other content are also viewable at pandaily.com and supchina.com

If you enjoy our work, please do let us know by leaving us an iTunes review (drop us a note saying you did, and we’ll send you an Extra Buzz newsletter subscription!), and by tweeting at us at @techbuzzchina. We also read your emails, at rui@techbuzzchina.com and ying@techbuzzchina.com. Thank you to our growing community for your always valuable feedback! 

And thanks to our ever-talented producers, Caiwei Chen and Kaiser Kuo, and Jason MacRonald.