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Finance

Alibaba affiliates sweep top 3 spots in global fintech ranking

KPMG's new list spotlights the rise of Chinese financial technology

Ant Financial: The world's No. 1 fintech company according to KPMG   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- Financial technology companies linked to China's Alibaba Group Holding took over the podium in KPMG's latest Fintech 100 list, announced on Wednesday.

Ant Financial, which runs Alibaba's massive Alipay e-payments network, took the No. 1 spot on the list, which was compiled with fintech accelerator H2 Ventures. Online property insurer ZhongAn Insurance and microloan provider Qudian placed second and third; both have received investments from Ant. 

This is the first time Chinese companies have swept the top three positions since the Fintech 100's inception four years ago. 

The Fintech 100 list is split into two categories. The Leading 50 -- companies ranked from first to 50th -- are selected based on capital raised, geographical diversity, innovation and other criteria. The Emerging 50 list that follows is a curated selection of promising startups with unique technologies or business models, chosen from more than 500 applications.

Five Chinese players cracked the top 10, surpassing the three for the U.S. Thirteen American companies made the Leading 50, versus nine for China. 

China has built significant muscle in the field in the last two years, in particular, observed Ian Pollari, global co-lead of KPMG Fintech. In 2016, too, five Chinese companies made the top 10, though third place went to New York-based Oscar Health Insurance.

Chinese players' ascent "will continue, particularly as they grow into international markets," Pollari said.

All told, this year's Fintech 100 includes 30 Asia-Pacific companies, up from 24 last year and 22 in 2015. Australia turned in a strong performance, with three companies in the Leading 50 and seven in the Emerging 50. The Australian contingent was led by online lender Prospa.

Pollari said growing themes this year include the application of data analytics and open banking. 

The Fintech 100 was announced in Singapore on the sidelines of the Fintech Festival, the world's largest event focused on the nascent field.

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