To help head up joint business initiatives and work toward the alignment of their long-term interests, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Ant Financial reportedly plan to form a steering committee. Alibaba Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang is said to head up the group, which will reportedly be known as the “new economy body,” Bloomberg reported. Ant Financial Chairman Eric Jing would also reportedly be Zhang’s deputy.
According to unidentified sources cited in the report, the group will ensure that the entities work together, and will hold executives accountable if they don’t. The body, which reportedly will not change the management or financial setup of either firm, will include more than 10 people from important divisions in both firms. Representatives for neither Ant Financial nor Alibaba replied to Bloomberg’s requests to comment.
Alibaba has grown to a platform that ranges from real estate auctions to on-demand food delivery from a merchant marketplace. Ant Financial has grown from only a payments business to encompass credit finance, wealth management and the largest money-market fund in China.
The latest news comes as Alibaba Group Holding posted mixed results for the period that ended in December. Although the company slightly fell short of top-line expectations, it came out ahead of bottom-line projections at the time. In addition, the firm notched gains in user count as well as other metrics, even with evidence of an economic slowdown in China.
The company’s revenue rose 41 percent to reach 117.3 billion yuan, which was short of the 119 billion yuan that the Street had sought. It was also reported that core commerce sales – which encompassed Tmall and Taobao – increased 40 percent to 102.8 billion yuan, and annual active consumers totaled 636 million at the end of the year with the net addition of 35 million users.