China’s Alibaba gains one third of Ant Financial’s stake, sets out five-year goals

NEW YORK, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) — Chinese e-commerce titan Alibaba announced Tuesday that it has gained a newly-issued 33 percent equity interest in its fintech affiliate Ant Financial and set out its five-year goals for China consumer business.

The stake transaction closed out a profit-sharing agreement inked between the two firms in 2014, which had required Ant Financial to pay 37.5 percent of its pre-tax profits to Alibaba.

Wall Street widely believed that the announced deal would nudge Ant Financial closer to a potential initial public offering, as the fintech firm has been considered as one of the world’s most valuable startups.

By the end of the fiscal 2024, Alibaba aims to serve over 1 billion annual active consumers and achieve over 10 trillion yuan (1.4 trillion U.S. dollars) in annual gross merchandise volume (GMV) through its China consumer business, which mainly covers its China retail marketplaces, digital media and entertainment, as well as local consumer services, the company said in a statement.

The company has approximately 860 million annual active consumers globally for the 12 months ended June 30, said Alibaba Group Executive Chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang at the company’s annual Investor day in Hangzhou, capital city of east China’s Zhejiang Province.

It noted that the five-year goals will help better realize the company’s blueprint to serve 2 billion customers, support 10 million small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as help create 100 million jobs by 2036.

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