Jack Ma’s Ant Buys U.K.'S WorldFirst in a Giant Step Abroad (1)

Feb. 14, 2019, 5:59 PM

Ant Financial, the Chinese financial services giant controlled by billionaire Jack Ma, bought London-based payments company WorldFirst in its biggest overseas deal since a U.S. expansion was thwarted.

The acquisition marks the Chinese company’s first big move into the U.K., although its Alipay service is accepted by some merchants there already. That should allow Ant to better serve smaller businesses worldwide, including in the U.S., it said in a statement.

Ant Financial, an affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. that’s backed by some of the biggest names in global finance and investment, serves hundreds of millions of customers who tap ...

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