Apart from its enormous size, Ant’s money-making ability is also due to the benefits that come from being part of the Alibaba ecosystem, since it is the default payment option on Alibaba’s e-commerce and food delivery platforms. Still, its earnings from payment transactions are giving way to those from selling technology services to other financial institutions, which now make up more than 60% of its revenues.

Ant, which was named because of its aim to serve the “little guys,” was established in 2014 to host Alipay, created by Alibaba as its default online payments system with about 300 million users at the time. The entity was set up under the control of Jack Ma, Alibaba’s founder and former CEO, who retains “ultimate control” of Ant, according to the filings. Since then, the company has evolved from mainly operating Alipay to providing things like consumer loans, insurance, online banking credit assessment service, to running one of the world’s largest money market funds.

Ant’s IPOs come as Chinese tech champions, which used to flock to the US to raise capital, face greater scrutiny from US officials, who want the companies to meet US financial rules if they’re going to raise capital there. The company cited “a deterioration in the relationship between China and the US” as a risk factor that could lead to increasing regulatory challenges for Chinese tech companies, including Ant and Alibaba. US president Donald Trump, who has threatened to ban Chinese apps including TikTok and WeChat, said recently that he was thinking about exerting similar pressure on other Chinese tech firms, such as Alibaba.

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