Fintech giant Ant Financial has discretely acquired a sizeable stake in Vietnamese e-wallet company eMonkey amidst intensifying anti-Chinese sentiment in China’s southern neighbour.
Sources told Reuters that Alibaba-affiliate Ant Financial sealed the deal with eMonkey over the summer, yet refrained from publicly announcing it as a result of anti-Chinese sentiment in Vietnam that has become heightened as a result of ongoing maritime disputes.
The deal is Ant Financial’s eighth in the international payments arena, giving it access a market of almost 100 million people, of whom around a quarter are under the age of 25.
The specific size of the deal has not been disclosed, although Ant Financial reportedly holds a less than 50% stake in eMonkey. The Chinese fintech will provide technical expertise to eMonkey, and is expected exercise considerable influence over the company.
eMonkey was founded by Vietnamese fintech company M-Pay Trade, which has entered partnerships with most of Vietnam’s leading banks and telecoms companies.