The IPO of a Chinese financial giant is already shaping up to be the biggest IPO in the world. Ant Financial is the financial arm of Alibaba, the Chinese Amazon. On the stock market, the company is expected to be worth $ 300 billion, more than 20 times Société Générale. Nicolas Barré takes stock of a current economic issue.
China has conquered industry, automobiles, electronics, telecoms. It has become essential in almost all sectors except finance and it is changing.
The symbol of this change is the IPO of a giant of Chinese finance, which is already shaping up to be the largest IPO in the world. Major change because the world has lived for more than a century under the domination of Anglo-Saxon finance. This domination had been briefly challenged in the 1980s by Japan, but very quickly the power of Wall Street had gained the upper hand. But today, the landscape is changing more radically. Finance is also becoming "made in China", we will have to get used to it.
This Chinese financial giant can shake Western banks.
It would be wrong to look down on him indeed. See what has happened in a few years in telecoms or in the automobile: the Chinese were once low-cost copiers. It was said that they were not innovating. But this is no longer true. Innovation in 5G, electric cars, artificial intelligence and so on, it is largely Chinese today. The next step is now finance. There is no powerful economy without great financial institutions. This Chinese giant is an empire, his name is Ant Financial, Ant like the ant in English. It is in fact the financial arm of Alibaba, the Chinese Amazon. On the stock market, this ant should be worth 300 billion dollars, more than 20 times the Societe Generale. Above all, it is a financial group with more than a billion customers, more than all the European banks combined.
A group that looks beyond the borders of China.
As in industry, as in telecoms, the Chinese giants are not content with their market. They also have a strategy of world conquest. This new juggernaut of Chinese finance makes payments, loans to individuals, even to SMEs, in short, it is becoming a financial supermarket. He innovates. In the 20th century, the power of the American economy rested largely on Wall Street and the big banks like JP Morgan, Bank of America, Citibank. Today, Chinese finance supports the strategy of conquering China. And that's just the beginning of the story.