Ant Group expands Singapore presence | The Asian Banker
Sunday, 3 March 2024

Ant Group expands Singapore presence

5 min read

Ant Group unveiled its new Singapore office as home to its various international business and technology segments, including Ant International.

With a newly created Ant International Foundation (AIF), Ant Group reaffirms the company’s commitment to Singapore as a global anchor of innovation and sustainable growth.

The office opening and AIF launch was officiated by Lew Chuen Hong, chief executive of Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), who shared about the strong partnership between Ant Group and IMDA in areas ranging from trust technologies to digital inclusion, and the importance of jointly building strong digital ecosystems.

Ant International also had the privilege to host its guests from both the public and private sectors, including Patrick Tay, member of parliament for Pioneer SMC, and assistant secretary-general of National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), in witnessing this important milestone of its international journey at the new Singapore office.

Eric Jing, chairman and CEO of Ant Group, said: “This new office signifies our commitment to enabling our teams in Singapore to continue playing an important role in our international development. In particular, Ant International and the creation of Ant International Foundation mark a new journey for the international development of Ant Group. Today, people everywhere are looking for new pathways to inclusive and sustainable growth. We will give our best to help realise the promise of digital technologies to bring small and beautiful changes to every small business and every community we serve.”

Ant International to enable future of commerce with innovative digital solutions

Ant International, the international business unit of Ant Group, is committed to powering the future of global commerce with digital innovation to enable consumers with seamless payment services, and help global merchants to do business easily everywhere through trusted and innovative digital solutions.

Peng Yang, the newly appointed president of Ant International, said the launch of an expanded office and AIF in Singapore, a global hub of financial innovation and sustainable growth, marks a new chapter of growth and collaboration for the business.

“From Singapore we are extending a global journey towards our unchanging vision: to work with partners to create a future commerce where every individual and every business may harness the power of digital technologies to achieve sustainable growth. The trust and support from Singaporean and global partners is both humbling and inspiring for us. We will further strengthen regional and global collaboration with policymakers, financial industry partners and customers, to bring better experience to people and more prosperity for businesses in Asia and beyond, " Yang said.

In its current operation, Alipay+, a suite of global cross-border payments, marketing and digitalisation solutions, connects close to 30 payment partners, enabling tens of millions of merchants to engage over 1.4 billion user accounts with smoother digital payment and varied marketing assistance. A global acquiring and merchant service arm, backed by extensive institutional channels and a comprehensive licence and compliance structure, covers over 200 countries and regions.

Under WorldFirst, Ant International offers over 400,000 SMEs in Asia and beyond a full-stack of cross-border payment, foreign exchange and funds management services in 40 main currencies through its B2C and B2B segments. ANEXT Bank, a digital wholesale bank incorporated and licensed in Singapore, is dedicated to providing embedded and green digital financing services for regional SMEs.

Chan Ih-Ming, executive director and head, Digital Industry Singapore (DISG), a joint office of the Economic Development Board (EDB), Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and IMDA, said: "The opening of Ant Group’s new International headquarters here reaffirms their confidence in Singapore's position as a technology hub and a nexus for connecting to Southeast Asia and the world. Ant Group’s collaborative efforts with local companies have driven innovation and empowered local businesses on their growth journey, boosting our digital ecosystem. The launch of Ant International Foundation  in Singapore will further strengthen their efforts in digital inclusion. We look forward to Ant International’s enhanced contributions in Singapore.”

Ant International also pledges to increase investment in Singapore on cutting-edge technologies to enhance trust and efficiency in digital commerce, including privacy-preserving computing and Web.3.0 innovations. The company is a participant in the IMDA Privacy Enhancing Technologies sandbox and has teamed up with Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in privacy computing research collaboration under the ambit of Strategic Centre for Research in Privacy-Preserving Technologies and Systems (SCRIPTS), which is an initiative jointly funded by the IMDA and National Research Foundation. Committed to a sustainable friendly digital future, Ant Group is also collaborating with IMDA to promote "tech for good" by encouraging more sustainable digital consumption built on carbon reduction techniques and framework.

The unveiling was marked with the launch of AIF, a registered foundation to be set up in Singapore, focusing on emerging issues around environmental protection, promotion of more digital inclusion for underserved communities and cultivation of digital leadership and talents to bring transformative changes to their communities.

AIF is dedicated to amplifying positive impact by harnessing collective strengths through partnerships globally. AIF aims to work with worldwide partners, including:

• The 10x1000 Tech for Inclusion Project, a non-profit project launched by Ant Group and International Finance Corporation to promote tech inclusion and bridge digital literacy in underserved communities;
• Green Digital Finance Alliance, a Swiss-based non-profit initiative jointly launched with the United Nations Environmental Programme to enable transformative digital and financial innovation for climate, nature and biodiversity challenges; and
• Forum of Young Global Leaders, a global leadership programme led by the World Economic Forum.

Leiming Chen, chief sustainability officer of Ant International, also announced AIF will lead new collaborative projects in Singapore including Girls Love Tech initiatives with SG Women In Tech to advance inclusivity and capacity-building in the fintech industry.

“Ant International Foundation anchors our commitment to bring more sustainable and inclusive impact for people and the planet in Singapore and beyond,” said Chen.

Tay said: “I've known Ant Group in the past many years in my capacity as co-chair of the Financial Sector Tripartite Committee and my involvement in the fintech space. In many of the developments in the fintech space, I've seen Ant Group very supportive of the national programmes, including programmes with IMDA to promote digitalisation and inclusion across Singapore. I congratulate Ant International on this new office and the launch of Ant International Foundation, as part of our ecosystem to do more, do better, do good and do together."

Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker

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