Ant Financial Services Group is an affiliate company of the e-commerce giant Alibaba and is considered to be China’s most valuable fintech firm. Although the company often makes the headlines with its new products and massive funding rounds, the man in charge remains quite a discreet and mysterious figure.
Eric Jing is a veteran Alibaba executive and has been leading its online payment unit, Alipay, since 2009. In the past few years, he gradually rose in the group’s ranks as he replaced long-term director of Alibaba’s board, Jonathan Lu, as well as Ant Financial’s CEO, Lucy Peng.
Jing starting working at Guangzhou Peugeot Automobile after graduating from the School of Management, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He then joined Havi Group, a supplier to McDonald’s, and Swire Coca-Cola. In 2004, he became chief financial officer at Guangzhou Pepsi-Cola Beverage Co. His decade-long experience in multi-national companies eventually attracted the attention of Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma, who convinced Jing to join the group as executive and partner.
During the past year, Jing was instrumental in achieving a record-breaking funding round of $4.5 billion at a valuation of $60 billion. Furthermore, the company has been gearing up for an initial public offering (IPO) and the listing is thought to be imminent.
Lastly, the mobile wallet Alipay reached over 450 million users in China in 2016. Still, Jing aims to go further and to quadruple this number over the next decade by expanding internationally. “We have an ambition to be a global company,” Jing told CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos. “So my vision is that we want to serve 2 billion people in the next 10 years by using technology, by working together with partners…to serve those underserved.”
Although his dreams may sound grand, Jing’s humble and steadfast leadership is likely to push the company forward in its path of growth and success.
At a Glance
Lives in: Hangzhou
Role: CEO at Ant Financial Services Group
Education: MBA, University of Minnesota – Carlson School of Management
Aspiration: To improve the financial wellbeing of the underbanked population
Fun fact: According to the Chinese Money Network, Jing loves wearing navy suits, going to Starbucks and letting loose at karaoke nights.