Alibaba-affiliated fintech giant Ant Financial has announced a change in its official name to “Ant Technology.”
On 22 June Ant Technology officially confirmed a change in its name from “Zhejiang Ant Micro Financial Services Share Limited Company” (浙江蚂蚁小微金融服务股份有限公司), to “Ant Technology Group Share Limited Company” (蚂蚁科技集团股份有限公司).
The move from Ant Technology – which operates China’s leading digital payments platform Alipay, arrives just after other tech giants such as Xiaomi and JD.com expunge finance-associated terms from their key fintech subsidiaries.
In September 2018 JD Finance (京东金融) – the fintech subsidiary of JD.com, changed its name to JDD (京东数科), while “Beijing Xiaomi Payments Technology Co., Ltd.” (北京小米支付技术有限公司) changed its name to “Xiaomi Digital Technology Co., Ltd.” (小米数字科技有限公司) in September 2019.
In 2019 Chinese regulators pushed for the big tech companies to “definancialize” their operations, and focus on providing big data, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and other tech services to traditional financial institutions, instead of seeking to become financial institutions themselves.
Ant Technology first began to use its new name on 8 June 2020, when its officially announced the establishment of a fully invested company for its OceanBase database product.
On 19 June the name “Ant Technology” was used by Eric Jing Xiandong (井贤栋) during his attendance at the 2020 Lujiazui Forum in Shanghai.
Ant Technology is the world’s highest valued fintech company, and operates the Alipay mobile payments network as well as the Tianhong Yu’e Bao money market fund, which was the world’s largest in 2019.