China’s Ant Group said to plan sale of US-based EyeVerify

Ant Group's Hangzhou Headquarters. Source: Ant Group

China’s Ant Group Co Ltd is planning to sell U.S.-based biometric security firm EyeVerify amid growing tensions between Beijing and Washington over China’s technology companies and tightening scrutiny over U.S. data, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

Ant, the fintech affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, is in talks with a number of potential buyers in the United States, the FT report said, citing sources.

The company planned to secure a sale in the first half of this year, the FT added.

Ant declined to comment. EyeVerify did not immediately respond to request for comment.

EyeVerify, based in Kansas City, Missouri, designs eye verification technology for mobile devices which is used by U.S. banks including Wells Fargo.

Ant bought EyeVerify for $100 million in 2016, a purchase which was approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), the panel that scrutinises deals for potential national security risks.

A senior Ant executive told the FT that the company had not collected data from EyeVerify’s eyeball scans.

The executive said such data did not leave the smartphones that performed the scans, the FT reported.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.