Ant Group, founded by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, is changing its business focus by venturing into the blockchain space, amid continued regulatory pressure that has impacted its financial services.
The company specifically launched a blockchain storage engine as part of the ongoing restructuring process, with plans to move to the hardware technology space, the company said. South China Morning Post reported on November 4th
As part of the new product line, Ant Group Digital Technologies has released Letus, or Log-structured Efficient Trusted Universal Storage, to reduce storage costs for blockchain systems.
“Letus can improve storage throughput by 15x, reduce latency by 90% and save bandwidth and disk space by 95% and 60% …”. [respectively]said Yan Ying, CTO of AntChain.
The latest products join other blockchain services released by the company, including
AntChain Station, a workstation, Blockchain Transmission Network, a long distance blockchain communication system. The company also unveiled updated versions of several “platforms as a service”.
The future is centered on the blockchain
Overall, Geoff Jiang, president of Ant Group’s Digital Technology Business Group, reiterated that the company wants to venture further into the technology space to improve industrial collaboration for the economy.
Notably, Ant Group, which also operates the giant mobile payment app AliPay, did not provide any additional information on the financial services of its operation.
At the same time, Ant Group was prevented from launching its IPO in 2020. The IPO was halted due to increased regulatory pressure from the government following a crackdown on corporate-dominated private technologies.
The company became a financial holding company subject to the supervision of the Chinese central bank following an antitrust proceeding.
As a result, the company, also linked to e-commerce giant Alibaba (NYSE: BABA), is undergoing a state-led restructuring process, but there are no developments on a possible listing date.
Ant Group’s financial services have been affected by regulatory changes, having been forced to operate under the laws governing the traditional banking sector.