Wednesday, 2024 April 24

Ant Group names new president and spins off three businesses in major restructuring

Ant Group, a tech giant affiliated with Alibaba Group, has announced its most significant reorganization since 2020, appointing a new president and spinning off three business units into independently-run subsidiaries.

Appointment of new president

Cyril Han (also known as Han Xinyi), the CFO of Ant Group, has been appointed as the new president of the group. He will oversee its payments, digital connectivity, and digital finance businesses, reporting directly to chairman and CEO Eric Jing. Han has been with Ant Group for a decade, assuming the CFO role in April 2020 before becoming an executive director in January 2023.

Before joining Ant Group, Han spent three years in Alibaba’s corporate finance department, and previously worked for ten years in the investment banking division of China International Capital Corporation (CICC). An insider told LatePost that Han may have been chosen for his professional background and CFO status, making him well-suited for Ant Group’s regulatory situation, particularly in view of its upcoming relisting.

Three business units go independent

Ant International, OceanBase, and Ant Digital Technologies, three major business units, will enter the market as independently operated subsidiaries of Ant Group. Each subsidiary will be led by a CEO under the guidance of a newly established board of directors.

  • Jing will take on the additional role of chairman of Ant International, with incumbent CEO Yang Peng retaining his post.
  • Ni Xingjun, chairman of Ant Group’s technology strategy committee and former president of Alipay’s China business group, will chair OceanBase, with Yang Bing continuing to serve as the entity’s CEO.
  • Ni will also be the chairman of Ant Digital Technologies, working in tandem with Zhao Wenbiao, who has been appointed CEO. Geoff Jiang is departing from Ant Digital Technologies for personal and career reasons.

According to LatePost, this restructuring wasn’t a sudden move, with discussions about the matter in progress within Ant Group a year ago.

The main factors behind this decision include Ant Group’s growing focus on artificial intelligence, accelerated globalization, and the development of Alipay.

For example, OceanBase and Ant Digital Technologies develop technology that substantially supports the implementation of Ant Group’s AI products, such as smart finance applications Zhixiaobao 2.0 and Zhixiaozhu 1.0. Ant International will also be better positioned to prioritize the globalization objectives of Ant Group, expediting the landing of the group’s cross-border payment and marketing solutions in overseas markets.

OceanBase and Ant Digital Technologies are notably among Ant Group’s most mature commercialized technology business segments. The former is China’s largest commercial cloud database, while the latter offers various products such as blockchain platform AntChain, end-to-end risk control products and services via AntShield, and digital collectible sales platform Jingtan, among others.

Together with Ant International, these three units are among Ant Group’s key businesses and operating independently in the market is expected to inject more vitality into them. Despite all three units currently operating at a loss, the new structure may afford them greater space for development, positioning them more favorably to achieve profitability. In the future, they may also independently seek financing from the market.

Ant Group will continue providing support to the three subsidiaries across various domains, encompassing technology, risk management, and capital. Additionally, to attract and retain talent, each subsidiary will launch an equity incentive plan this year.

KrASIA Connection
KrASIA Connection
KrASIA Connection features translated and adapted high-quality insights published on 36Kr.com, the largest and most influential technology portal in Chinese language with over 150 million readers across the globe.
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