Ant Group

Ant Group's CEO Simon Hu replaced by Eric Xiandong Jing

15 March 2021 | Abigail Opiah

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China’s Ant Group Chief Executive Officer Simon Hu (pictured) has stepped down from the role and has been replaced by chairman Eric Xiandong Jing.

It has been reported that his resignation was prompted by the company’s failed IPO last year, which would have been the world’s biggest.

Data Economy reached out to the company for clarification, to which Ant Group is yet to reply.

Between 2014 to 2018, Hu was President of Alibaba Cloud, and now serves as Senior Vice President and Partner of Alibaba Group.

Hu helped create AliFinance, which eventually became Ant Group, in 2009. He became the CEO of the company in 2019.

Ant Group also operates Alipay, China’s largest mobile payments business. In 2004, Alipay launched as an escrow service and has grown to serve approximately 1.3 billion users worldwide together with its global e-wallet partners.

News of Hu’s departure comes as Ant Group set a target to become carbon neutral by 2030, and pledged its support to bring down emissions through technological innovations.

The company will also set up a carbon neutrality fund to support the research and development of renewable energy and other green technologies, and work with industry partners to promote green finance.

“Going green has always been a strong priority for Ant since our founding, we firmly believe technology can and should be used to further sustainable development,” said Yijie Peng, Vice President of Ant Group.

“The carbon neutrality goal that we pledged today is the next milestone in our pursuit of an inclusive, green and sustainable future.”

Ant Group has detailed a roadmap to neutralise direct and indirect emissions associated with the purchase of electricity from this year.

By 2030, Ant Group said it will fully cancel out carbon emissions generated from other sources it does not own or control, covering areas such as supply chain and business travel.