Ant Group, the digital payments arm of Chinese ecommerce group Alibaba, is planning to sell its prized US asset amid heightened tensions between Beijing and Washington over China’s fast-growing technology sector and tightening scrutiny over US user data, reported the Financial Times.
The planned sale of EyeVerify, a biometric security firm based in Kansas City, Missouri, also comes as Ant looks to raise capital in anticipation of potential fines and restructuring costs following its aborted IPO last year.
Ant bought EyeVerify for about $100 million in 2016, in a deal that was cleared by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, marking its first investment in a US company, said the FT. The company, whose technology is used by banks including Wells Fargo, scans users faces as a password for mobile services. It is currently a subsidiary of Ant-owned Zoloz Global.