Alibaba Group Holding (BABA.NYSE) affiliate Ant Financial will invest RMB1.2 billion (US$188 million) to obtain a 60% stake in Cathay Insurance, the mainland China-based insurance unit of Taiwan’s Cathay Financial Holdings, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing a statement from the insurer. Ant Financial’s president, Eric Jing, said in a separate statement that the company wants to provide new insurance services over the Internet to small businesses and consumers. Ant Financial is also the operator of Alipay, a popular online payment and escrow platform controlled by Alibaba founder Jack Ma that has more than 400 million active users.
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