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Alibaba’s Fintech Affiliate Appoints Simon Hu as Chief Executive

E-commerce behemoth Alibaba Group Holding and its fintech partner Ant Financial announced a series of top-level executive changes on Thursday, amid an ongoing reshuffling after the recruitment of Daniel Zhang as chairman of Alibaba.

Ant Financial has selected Simon Hu as its new chief executive, replacing Eric Jing, the unit mentioned in a statement.

Jing will remain, chief chairperson of Ant Financial, a role he was performing concurrently with the CEO title.

Hu joined Alibaba Group back in 2005 and served as president of Ant Financial since November 2018. Prior to that, he held positions in Alibaba’s cloud computing and SME loan subsidiaries.

The new appointment at Ant Financial comes as the department, which handles billions of yuan in online transactions through its payment platform Alipay, faces a long-awaited IPO.

In September, Alibaba obtained regulatory permit to purchase 33% of Ant Financial in exchange for rights to 37.5% of Alibaba’s income.

Analysts expected the restructuring marked a significant step towards a stock market listing. However, in September, Ant Financial’s president of its global division Douglas Feagin said the corporate had no timetable for an IPO.

At the same time, Ant Financial CTO Cheng Li will substitute Jeff Zhang as the CTO of Alibaba, based on an internal letter.

Jeff Zhang will remain the chairperson of the Alibaba Technology Committee, Dean of Alibaba’s DAMO Academy, and president of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence.

The letter further acknowledged that Jiang Fan, president of Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall e-commerce websites, will also manage the corporate’s Alimama advertising subsidiary.

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