Singaporean media outlet Lianhe Zaobao reported on Wednesday that Ant Group has announced the appointment of Jia Hang as its General Manager for Southeast Asia. The Group said this newly-established position will help strengthen its talent and capacity building in the region, and will better support the development of local individuals and businesses, particularly assisting small and medium enterprises to adapt to the digital economy.
Jia Hang has more than 20 years of experience in the fields of payment and financial technology, and is a former UnionPay executive. Since joining Ant Group in May 2015, he was appointed as Senior Director and Vice President. Moreover, he has served as Supervisor of Ant Group since December 2016, and Chairman of the Supervisory Board since August 2020.
Jia Hang said that the company will leverage Alipay+ and cooperate with well-known partners in the industry to support global merchants and better serve over 1 billion consumers in Southeast Asia. In addition, through the “10×1,000 Tech for Inclusion” initiative, the Group hopes to train 1,000 tech leaders for the public and private sectors every year to contribute to the training of local tech talents throughout the next 10 years.
Since around 2015, Ant Group has been laying out its payment business overseas. From 2016 to 2018, the Group built a local “Alipay Wallet” by taking shares in local companies.
Beginning in 2016, Ant Group and Thai payment company Ascend Money launched strategic cooperation to jointly create a Thai version of the Wallet TrueMoney. Additionally, it invested in Kakao Pay, a mobile finance subsidiary of Kakao in South Korea. Over the past few years, the Group’s overseas expansion has extended to more than 10 countries, including India, South Korea, Thailand and Bangladesh.
On November 3, 2021, Kakao Pay, known as “Korean Alipay,” went public with a market value of over $20 billion. Ant Group is its second largest shareholder with 39.1% shares, and its parent company Kakao holds 47.8% shares. Paytm, an Indian payment service similar to Alipay, also went public in mid-to-late November last year.