Ant Group, the parent of China’s largest mobile payment company Alipay, generated $1.3 billion in profit in the March quarter of this year — an increase of 560% compared with the same period last year, according to Bloomberg.
The news follows Ant’s announcement last month that it will list public shares this year on the Hong Kong stock exchange and the Shanghai stock exchange’s STAR market. The company, an affiliate of Alibaba, is seeking a valuation of $200 billion, reports Bloomberg.
Ant Group’s Alipay is a ubiquitous mobile payment platform in China, where the use of cash has fallen dramatically in the past several years. Alipay is expected to play a role in China’s forthcoming digital currency system.
The company, which aims to expand beyond finance to become a one-stop-shop for all kinds of digital services, is also a big investor in blockchain technology, which it has said can be the basis of a new “industrial internet” in China.
Ant Group has developed a proprietary blockchain platform that is already being used to track charity donations, monitor supply chains, and facilitate cross-border payments.