Ant Financial runs Alipay, China's most widely used online payment platform, and is controlled by Alibaba's Executive Chairman Jack Ma and other senior Alibaba executives who spun off Alipay from the rest of the firm in 2011.

Total payment volume over Alipay was $778 billion in the 12 months ended June 30, 2014.

Ma has said on several occasions he plans to eventually list Ant Financial. Alibaba held its own record-breaking $25 billion initial public offering in September.