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Jack Ma’s Booming Loan Business Threatens Visa, AmEx in China

  • Ant Financial helps banks lend money to its millions of users
  • Some Chinese consumers are cutting out credit cards altogether
Ant Financial's Chairman Eric Jing Says Credit Growth Defying China Slowdown
Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

As Visa Inc., Mastercard Inc. and American Express Co. prepare to enter China for the first time, one of their biggest competitive threats will come from a company that doesn’t issue credit cards.

Jack Ma’s Ant Financial, already the biggest player in China’s $27 trillion payments market, is leveraging its ubiquitous Alipay mobile app to mount a rapid expansion into consumer lending.