File - People ride a tandem bicycle past a logo of Alibaba Group at the company's headquarters on the outskirts of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province in this November 10, 2014. REUTERS/Aly Song
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Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and its finance affiliate accelerated a drive to be a full-fledged Chinese online financial network, with the launch Thursday of an e-commerce tracking stock index and plans for a June start of an Internet bank.Alibaba and affiliate Ant have big ambitions for financial services in China which have traditionally been geared toward larger and state-owned businesses and neglected individuals and smaller enterprises.Alibaba is China's biggest e-commerce company, while Ant's Alipay online payment service is the country's most popular. Analysts say this gives Alibaba and Ant what is possibly China's best data on consumers' and small businesses' finances.
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