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Chinese company ANT Financial, parent company of financial platform Alipay, is reportedly planning an IPO in 2017.  If Alipay sounds familiar to you, it’s probably because you’ve heard of Alibaba (ANT financial is an affiliate company of the Alibaba Group).

Alibaba has made news time and again for its breathtaking ascent as an eCommerce monolith, smashing records along the way.  Alibaba ranked the Top 10 Largest  Global IPOs of all time, raising $25 Billion on its public offering.  Its websites account for a staggering 60% of the packages delivered in China, and handle roughly 80% of all e-commerce transactions.  In 2016, Alibaba surpassed 3 trillion yuan ($463 billion) in transactions in its fiscal year to March – over double of the transaction volume in 2013 (which was a milestone in itself).

Amazon vs Alibaba

Alibaba has emerged as a real competitor to Amazon. Forbes explains how Alibaba has a higher growth potential than the North American e-commerce giant. On an article Forbes states: “Alibaba commands nearly 80% of China’s e-commerce market, while Amazon’s has close to 30% share in the U.S. market. Amazon faces stiff competition in international markets and its capital intensive business makes it less profitable to expand in other regions. ”

Not only that, The Entrepreneur compares the two companies’ big e-market holidays: Amazon’s Cyber Monday sale delivered a solid $2.68 billion in sales, which pales in comparison to Alibaba’s biggest sales day, when it generated a whopping $9.3 billion from its Singles Day sale.

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Who is ANT Financial?

ANT Financial  is affiliate company of the highly reputed Alibaba Group, which operates the Alipay payment platform. According to a recent Bloomberg post, ANT Financial is planning on going public in the first half of 2017. The payment platform joins Delivery Hero and Spotify as the latest company to be rumoured to go public next year.  In its latest raise, ANT financial raised $4.5B, giving the company a jaw-dropping $60B valuation.

Alipay is a growing online-payment platform that is expanding around the world. With its recent partnership with Ingenico, Alipay is able to allow its Chinese users to use their virtual wallet across Europe without any hassle.