Chinese retailers idle in empty malls as shoppers go online
Young Chinese students play electronic games at a stall in an empty electronics mall in Zhongguancun, Beijing, China. Photograph by Song jiaru — Imaginechina/AP

Alibaba’s Finance Arm Ant Financial Valued at $60 Billion

Mar 07, 2016

Ant Financial, the Alibaba (baba) spinoff that operates popular Chinese digital wallet Alipay, is raising a new round of funding at a $60 billion valuation, according to Reuters.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Alipay is seeking to raise as much as $3 billion in new funding.

Alipay is a digital wallet that shoppers—most of them in China—use to buy products online, on their phones, and even in stores. With 400 million registered users, it is almost triple the size of its U.S. rival, PayPal.

As Ant Financial's U.S. chief told Fortune in 2015, Alipay's mobile app helps you do everything you need to do financially including shopping online, paying for an Uber, buying a plane ticket, or even paying your electricity bill. Many physical stores in China also accept Alipay.

On China’s busiest online shopping day, known as Singles Day, on Nov. 11. 2015, Alipay processed $14.3 billion in sales by Alibaba.

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Ant’s business also includes money market funds. Ant Financial was valued at $40 billion in its last round of funding, and was reportedly eyeing a 2016 IPO.

Ant Financial could be readying a war chest to fend off competition from Apple (aapl), which just debuted its rival mobile payments service in China in February. But Alipay still has a strong foothold in China, with 50% market share in mobile payments. Chinese Internet giant Tencent (tcehy) holds 20% share.

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