Alibaba Affiliate Ant Financial, China’s Biggest Payment Service, Exploring Blockchain Tech

09.07.2018

Zhang Hui, director of the blockchain department of Ant Financial, a subsidiary of e-commerce giant Alibaba valued at $150 billion, said that the company is developing its own consortium chain and blockchain-based platform.

Chinese tech publication TechNode reported on July 6 that Zhang had spoken about Ant Financial’s blockchain push at the TechCrunch International City Event held in Hangzhou last week, saying that blockchain is one of five basic technologies that the company is currently investing in, alongside AI, Security, IoT, and computing.

Although Ant Financial has already launched a blockchain-based remittance service that operates between Hong Kong and the Philippines and is building its own platform, Zhang revealed that the company has no plans to issue its own token.

Despite praising blockchain’s ability to protect user data, Zhang also spoke about some of the issues, including scaling up to handle tens of thousands of transactions per second, that keep major corporations on the sidelines. However, according to Zhang, the scalability challenge is “not insurmountable.”

Alipay, Ant Financial’s core platform, is widely used as an alternative to cash in many Asian countries including Japan, China, Thailand, and Taiwan ahead of services such as Samsung Pay, Android Pay, and Apple Pay. Ant Financial raised $10 billion from a group of global and local investors in May, valuing the company at $150 billion.

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