Ant Group Releases 2023 Sustainability Report: Expanding Investment in Technology Reflects Firm Commitment to AI and Digital Inclusion

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HANGZHOU, China--()--Ant Group (or “the Company”) today released its 2023 Sustainability Report, showcasing the Company’s significant progress since the introduction of its ESG strategy in 2022 and demonstrating its commitment to transparency and to its sustainable business practices.

The report highlights noteworthy advancements across key areas, underpinned by four core pillars: Technological Innovation, Digital Inclusion, Green and Low-Carbon Development, and Open Ecosystem.

“Looking ahead, we are constantly reflecting on how to stay true to our original aspirations in this era of rapid change, continuously bringing about more small yet beautiful changes to the world,” said Eric Jing, Chairman & CEO of Ant Group. “Since our journey started from Alipay’s inception in 2004, technology-driven innovation has always been the fundamental force propelling our growth. It will play an even greater role in shaping our future.”

Technological Innovation

To drive innovation for consumers, small and micro-sized enterprises (SMEs) and partners, Ant Group has increased its investment in technology R&D for three consecutive years, reaching a record high of RMB 21.19 billion yuan (~ 2.92 billion USD) in 2023. Ant Group’s BaiLing Foundation Model, which was approved to serve the Chinese public in 2023, has been powering AI assistants that make it easier for users to access various life services on the Alipay platform, from smart life assistant, to smart healthcare manager and smart financial manager.

Digital Inclusion

By leveraging digital payment and finance innovation, Ant Group, together with its associate MYbank, have served more than 87 million SMEs as of 2023.

On the Alipay platform, thousands of Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) have developed more than 700 digital solutions for 4.27 million merchants, enabling them to seize more business opportunities through digital operations. In 2023, the annual transaction volume of merchant operated Alipay mini-programs grew by 68% year-on-year.

Green and Low-Carbon Development

By the end of 2023, Ant Group had achieved operation-wide carbon neutrality for three consecutive years, with a 43.19% reduction in absolute Scope 1 & 2 emissions compared to the 2020 baseline year. In accordance with standards such as the "Greenhouse Gas Protocol: Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standards" and the "Global Financial Industry Greenhouse Gas Accounting and Reporting Standards," Ant Group conducted the Company’s first comprehensive accounting for Scope 3 carbon emissions in 2023, covering 11 categories related to activities along Ant Group's value chain, which provides a scientific basis for further emission reduction initiatives.

Since its launch in 2016, Alipay Ant Forest has encouraged more than 690 million users to make everyday low-carbon choices. As a result, 475 million trees have been planted by local partners with financial support from the Company.

Open Ecosystem

To better connect travelers with merchants and facilitate cross-border commerce, more than 25 leading e-wallets and banking apps have adopted Alipay+, a suite of cross-border digital payment and digitalization technology solutions. Alipay+ enables their users to pay and travel like locals, bringing international businesses to over 88 million merchants worldwide. In addition, with its one World Account, WorldFirst has served one million SME traders to pay, connect, and manage money globally.

The 10x1000 Tech for Inclusion program has provided exchange and learning opportunities for 6,243 certified learners from over 100 countries and regions, of whom nearly half are women participants.

Ant Group, after establishing 19 sustainability issues with 3-year OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) and plans in 2022, has upgraded its governance and incentive system in line with global best practices. This includes linking senior management’s remuneration to the Company’s risk management and sustainability performance metrics.

In 2023, Ant Group used relevant Sustainability Accounting Standards Board(SASB) industry standards as a guiding reference for its sustainability reporting for the first time. Ant Group also bolstered its climate-related disclosures with reference to the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) requirements, including detailing how its executives and senior management tackle climate-related decisions as well as the establishment of an early warning platform to monitor extreme weather's impact on business operations.

Note: All figures are as of December 31, 2023 unless otherwise specified. The 2023 Sustainability Report is available in Chinese. The English-language version will be available on Ant Group’s official website soon.

About Ant Group

Ant Group aims to build the infrastructure and platforms to support the digital transformation of the service industry. Through continuous innovation, we strive to provide all consumers and small and micro businesses equal access to digital financial and other daily life services that are convenient, sustainable and inclusive.

For more information, please visit our website at www.antgroup.com or follow us on Twitter @AntGroup.

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Media Inquiry
Ant Group
Le SHEN
Shenle.sl@antgroup.com

聯絡人

Media Inquiry
Ant Group
Le SHEN
Shenle.sl@antgroup.com