Chinese fintech giant Ant Group launches overseas blockchain brand ZAN

Quick Take

  • Ant Group said ZAN will focus on serving institutional and individual clients in overseas markets including Hong Kong and Singapore.

Ant Group, the fintech affiliate of Chinese internet conglomerate Alibaba, today launched ZAN, a new blockchain service aimed at Hong Kong and overseas markets.

Zhang Hui, chief executive officer of ZAN, said at a conference in Shanghai that ZAN offers a full suite of blockchain application development products and services for both institutional and individual web3 developers.

In a statement shared with The Block, Ant Group, the parent of Alipay, said ZAN can help institutional clients to issue and manage real-world assets in compliance with local regulatory requirements.

ZAN also provides technical products, including electronic know-your-customer, anti-money laundering and know-your-transactions services, to “help Web3 businesses build up their capabilities in customer identity authentication, security protection and risk management,” the company said.

"At Ant Group Digital Technologies, we have seen the trend and also efficiency and security related bottlenecks during the application development process,” Zhang said in the statement. “To resolve these pain points, ZAN is dedicated to investing in research and development of Web3 technologies and products, providing more extensive and reliable technical services to support the community, and working with our partners to accelerate Web3 developments and innovations."


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Blockchain drive

While China banned all cryptocurrency transactions in September 2021, the country remains bullish on homegrown blockchain technology and digital economies — with Chinese tech giants, such as Alibaba and Tencent, focusing on developing their own consortium blockchains.

Alibaba’s Ant Group, for example, launched its blockchain brand AntChain in July 2020.

Ant Group said it started piloting ZAN’s technical services earlier this year. ZAN’s e-KYC feature has been adopted by HashKey Group, a Hong Kong crypto firm, for its identity data aggregator service, according to the statement.

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Timmy Shen is an Asia reporter for The Block. Previously, he wrote about crypto and Web3 for Forkast.News from Taiwan after spending more than three years in Beijing covering finance and current affairs at Caixin Global and Chinese tech at TechNode. His China-related reporting has also appeared in The Guardian. When he's not chasing headlines, you'll find him savoring hot pot and shabu shabu in a Taipei local haunt. Timmy holds an MS degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Send tips to [email protected] or get in touch on X/Telegram @timmyhmshen.


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