Ant Group, the fintech arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group and the parent of mobile payments company Alipay, has launched its new blockchain brand.
Dubbed "AntChain," the technology brand is for the company's blockchain-based solutions, including OpenChain, a spokesperson of Ant Group, told The Block.
AntChain supports more than 50 use cases, including shipping and cross-border remittances, and claims to have the ability to support 1 billion user accounts and process 1 billion transactions per day.
"With the launch of the AntChain brand, we look forward to contributing to the acceleration of blockchain-enabled industry transformations," said Geoff Jiang, vice president of Ant Group. He added that the brand would help create "tangible value" for clients, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Ant has also signed agreements with Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Lenovo to make IT leasing services more accessible for SMEs via AntChain (In May, the group formed a similar partnership with Intel).
The news comes just a week after Ant announced its initial public offering (IPO) plans on both Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges. Ant valued at $150 billion in its last funding round and is now seeking a $200 billion valuation via the dual IPO.
Ant Group has been investing "significantly" in blockchain research and development since 2015. Today, the group has also launched "AntChain Station," which helps its enterprise clients to deploy blockchain solutions 90% faster — "within an hour" as compared to the previous average set-up time of 10 hours.
Ant's Alipay is also working on projects related to China's official digital currency. It is widely expected to be a distributor of digital yuan.