Alibaba’s financial affiliate Ant Financial, which operates Alipay, was valued at close to $60 billion in the latest funding round. In the past, Alibaba executives and industry experts have given mixed signals about the potential listing of Ant Financial. Some have said it would go public on a mainland stock exchange, while others indicated that it could go public in Hong Kong. A few others have also suggested that Ant Financial could pursue a dual listing – domestically and offshore.
Ma never thought of Alibaba’s delisting from NYSE
Interacting with students at the University of Macau, Alibaba founder Jack Ma said he “very much hopes” that the Alipay operator will list in Hong Kong. The Hangzhou-based e-commerce retailer itself was once mulling to list on the Hong Kong stock exchange. However, it turned to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) after Hong Kong failed to change its rules to accommodate Alibaba.
Ant Financial is rumored to be eyeing a 2017 listing. It provides an online payment platform, insurance and wealth management services that support Alibaba’s online empire. Separately, Jack Ma said he never thought of delisting the online retailer from the United States. Last month, the US Securities and Exchange Commission launched a probe in Alibaba’s accounting practices. Ma recently said Americans don’t fully understand the company’s business model because there were no parallels in the US.
Jack Ma’s advice to Hong Kong youth
China’s richest man also urged Hong Kong youth who want freedom from China to think clearly about what they want and what they stand to lose, reports the South China Morning Post. The young people will understand it “some years later.” Ma also asked the Hong Kong youth to “think of their roots.” Jack Ma reportedly has strong ties with the Communist Party and the Chinese government.
Ma said the “one country, two systems” principle offered great advantages to both Hong Kong and Macau special administrative regions.