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How AI and vast data support Ant Group's financial empire

Fintech company brings credit to small businesses often shunned by banks

Ant, which is preparing to raise a maximum of $39.6 billion in the world's largest IPO, controlled 55% of China's $29.9 trillion mobile-payment market in the first quarter of 2020. (Source photos by Reuters) 

SHANGHAI -- Ant Group has built a financial empire unparalleled in the world by taking advantage of the pools of data and funds it has built up through digital transactions on online retail and payment services platforms linked to Alibaba Group Holding.

In the lobby of Ant's headquarters in Hangzhou, in China's eastern Zhejiang Province, an A4-size sheet of paper displays the words: "757 yuan received through Alipay, Oct. 15, 2003," a reference to the financial technology company's popular mobile-payment platform.

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