Ants Accelerate – Alibaba’s Blockchain Arm Goes into Overdrive
Ant Group, the blockchain and e-pay subsidiary of Chinese tech giant Alibaba, is accelerating its business operations with the launch of a new cross-border trade blockchain platform, stepping up its bid to go public – and has sealed a key deal with the busiest container port on the planet.
Ant, which also operates the Alipay e-payment platform, has dubbed the platform Trusple, and will debut it on the Ant-developed Antchain blockchain network, the company said in their press release.
The firm will allow exporting and importing firms to place trading orders on Trusple, which will then automatically create smart contracts, including logistics-related information – allowing banks to process payments on the network.
"Trusple was designed to solve problems for SMEs and financial institutions involved in cross-border trading,” Guofei Jiang, President of Advanced Technology Business Group, Ant Group, was quoted as saying in the announcement.
Global e-commerce sites, including Alibaba’s AliExpress, could make use of the platform, Reuters said.
It added that a “blockbuster” initial public offering (IPO) is slated for next month, with “plans to list simultaneously in Hong Kong and on Shanghai’s tech-heavy STAR Market next month.” The Ant listing, the news agency added, could be the world’s IPO, “surpassing oil giant Saudi Aramco’s USD 29.4bn float” in December last year.
Ant is aiming to generate USD 35m from its own IPO bid.
But the Ant action does not stop there. Per Shanghai Securities News, the Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) also wants in. The group operates the Port of Shanghai, the busiest container port in the world for the past decade or so, per World Shipping Council figures.
The new deal will see SIPG work with the Ant Group on a number of blockchain-powered logistics and shipping projects, including smart port construction drives, cross-chain interoperability solutions for firms and ports that operate on different blockchain networks and work on “solutions that provide the efficient flow of digital assets and enable multi-party collaboration with financial institutions.”
Meanwhile, as reported earlier this month, Alibaba has published 10 times more patents than IBM this year alone.