Ant Tech conference showcases innovations in financial tech

Global Business

Ant Tech conference showcases innovations in financial tech

Ant Financial is holding its first ever Ant Technology Exploration Conference, or ATEC, in Silicon Valley. At ATEC, Ant is showcasing new financial products-like insurance.

CGTN’s Mark Niu reports.

“The insurance product is called screen damage insurance. Seriously,” Alan Qi, chief data scientist for Ant Financial said. “We don’t recommend that to everybody, we recommend this product to the ladies who bought skinny jeans.”

Machine learning algorithms discovered a correlation between skin-tight skinny jeans and fractured cellphone screens.

Ant’s technology is also developing software that will enable the elderly to make payments by just smiling and another technology that will allow people to make automatic auto accident claims just by taking photos.

“Right now there are some great companies operating in China” Silvio Micali, MIT professor of Engineering said. “I think it’s going to be a very welcome competition. It’s going to end up for all of us a better product. It’s going to cause everyone else to innovate even more.”

The ATEC conference is all about financial tech. And that means looking at the payment history.

Ant said their data shows China’s mobile payment market is driven by QR code and is now eleven times the size of the payment market here in the U.S.

Hans Tung is a managing partner of GGV Capital, an early investor in Alibaba and U-S financial tech companies like Coinbase and Square.

“In the U.S., it’s more of the fringes with the technology experts doing it and trickling through the rest of society,” said Tung. “It takes a while. In China, you see these big companies spending a lot of money to encourage apps to be quickly adopted by mass markets.”

Tung recently visited Washington DC, where he spoke with former members of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., known as CFIUS. That’s the committee that blocked Ant’s attempt to acquire U.S. based MoneyGram for 1.2 billion dollars.

“I think for CFIUS foreign investments in the United States, the general trend we see is becoming more conservative and not to give in to Chinese acquisitions as much,” said Tung. “In exchange they probably want China to open up even more before they would open up the U.S. more. It’s definitely that mentality happening.”

Tung said under the circumstances, Chinese tech companies pursuing markets in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America – instead of the U.S. – makes a lot more financial sense.

Geoff Jiang discuss Ant Financial’s vision for transforming the financial sector

CGTN’s Mark Niu sat down with Geoff Jiang, the vice president and head of Ant Technologies Lab to discuss the companies vision for transforming the financial sector.