Giants in their own right, ICBC - the world's largest bank in terms of assets - will work with Alibaba and Ant Financial by leveraging their collective expertise in electronic payment settlement and cross border finance to promote the wider use of digital technology in financial services.
The Chinese companies aim to improve the quality of fintech products and services with smart technologies and product innovation, expanding on the collaboration that began in March 2005 after Alipay and ICBC partnered to provide digital payments.
Chen Siqing, chairman of ICBC, highlights: “Complementing each other’s strengths, ICBC and the Alibaba digital economy have been working together to build a range of products. Our cooperation expands beyond payment and e-commerce to more areas including global corporate finance, scenario-based finance and financial innovation. We hope to generate more chemistry to promote innovations in Chinese finance industry and further improve the quality of finance services in the coming future."
Daniel Zhang, chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group, adds: “Alibaba Group and Ant Financial highly value our long-standing relationship with ICBC. Their commitment to building a better future has helped fuel the rapid growth of Alipay as well the broader digital economy in China."
He continues: “We will always stay true to our mission and continue to pursue financial innovation through digital technology to advance the economy and improve people’s lives. Alibaba and ICBC share a common purpose with a strong partnership built on trust, and together, we will work to make a bright future for all.”
Earlier this month, it was revealed that Ant Financial is preparing to raise $1 billion for a fund that will invest in fintech startups in South East Asia and India, according to reports.
Jack Ma's firm is planning the fund to pump money into companies in the payments and online finance space. The fund would be in line with Ant's policy of expanding outside of China, where its growth is slowing in the face of stiff competition from Tencent and others.