ant group

What is the Ant group? The rise of a modern colossus

It's about to get the biggest IPO in history - but what exactly is it?

What’s in a name? Not much, when it comes to the titans of tech. Amazon — that sprawling, ravenous, emissions-pumping high street killer — certainly lacks the natural harmony of its namesake rainforest. Uber is far from “super”, and often distinctly un-German in its efficiency. Twitter is not so much a cute chirrup as a howling, vomiting vortex. And Apple hasn’t sold a piece of fruit in years.

But the Ant group? Now that’s a true misnomer. Ants, though punchy and peppy, are small things by anyone’s reckoning. But the company that bears its name is not small, or titchy, or scurrying for scraps — it’s a blue whale; a diplodocus; a huge, swirling, sky-darkening swarm of starlings. And it’s set to IPO — the biggest in history — on November 5. Here’s what you need to know about the new(ish) behemoth on the block.

Shanghai Stock Exchange
The Shanghai Stock Exchange, where Ant Group will IPO on November 5th

Early days: out of Alibaba’s cave

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