China and the world’s biggest bank in terms of assets has just sealed a strategic partnership with e-commerce and fintech giants Alibaba and Ant Financial.
On 16 December the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) executed an agreement for “comprehensive, in-depth strategic cooperation” with Alibaba and Ant Financial at a ceremony held in Beijing.
Under the agreement the parties will “accelerate the establishment of a new, cooperative growth ecosystem for digital finance, create a model for in-depth cooperation between internet companies and financial institutions, and provide better services to consumers.”
“For a long time now, ICBC and Alibaba have had complementary advantages in terms of the digital economy, and cooperation has steadily expanded from payments and e-commerce to a multi-dimensional ecosystem,” said ICBC chairman Chen Siqing (陈四清).
“We have obtained outstanding results in multiple areas including global corporate finance, scenario finance and financial innovation, and hope that in future both parties will be able to jointly drive innovation in the Chinese financial sector and raise the quality of financial services supply.”
Zhang Yong, CEO of Alibaba Group, pointed out that ICBC and Alipay first commenced cooperation in the area of online payments services in March 2005.
“This was the first time that a bank in China had cooperated with us in online payments, and were it not for ICBC’s courage to lead, and its accommodation, insight and leadership when it came to innovation and future trends, Alipay would not have enjoyed the rapid growth that it does today.”