Speaking Of Asia: Power shifts in the Indo-Pacific

China is gaining inexorably on the US but it is not without its vulnerabilities.

This week’s share sale by Ant Financial has placed the firm at a valuation higher than that of JPMorgan Chase, the largest American bank.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Anyone seeking a quick lesson in swiftly shifting weight in global affairs needs only look at this week's share sale by Ant Financial, which operates the Alipay platform.

Not only was the issue subscribed more than 284 times, drawing worldwide interest, including from Singapore's wealth funds, it has placed the Chinese fintech firm, a product of this century, at a valuation between US$313 billion and US$320 billion (S$436 billion). That is higher than that of JPMorgan Chase, the largest American bank, whose roots go back to 1877.

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