Safety concerns are being raised for soldiers and their families with the possible acquisition of MoneyGram by a company with close ties to the Chinese government in Beijing.

A Friday story in the San Diego Union Tribune revealed China’s Zhejiang Ant Small and Micro Financial Services — called “Ant” — placed a bid Jan. 27 of $880 million for MoneyGram, a financial company often used to send and receive money by Fort Hood soldiers and their families.

MoneyGram services can be found in locations including Wal-Mart and CVC Pharmacy. A Google search showed there are 28 locations in the Killeen-Fort Hood area.

The Union Tribune added that the acquisition might not occur because of rising fears Chinese spies would exploit the data of American troops and their families to track military movements and identify targets to turn.

American-owned Kansas firm Euronet Worldwide placed a bid more recently for $2 billion, according to the Union Tribune.

Both rivals agree to assume nearly $1 billion in MoneyGram’s corporate debt if a deal goes through. While Euronet bid more for MoneyGram, there are concerns Ant may be able to outbid them in the long term.

Ant is directed by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma and operates in China similar to America’s PayPal system. The Union Tribune story said “It is believed that about 15 percent of Ant is owned by the Communist government and the sovereign wealth fund it controls.”

Ant, on off-shoot of retail giant Alibaba, has an estimated combined value of nearly $300 billion, according to the Union Tribune. Euronet is projected to garner about $21 billion in revenues this year.

The Herald reached out to Dallas-based MoneyGram and officials are in the process of providing the information.

A Moneygram spokeswoman said the Herald should receive the information Tuesday.

Fort Hood Herald: Read more about this in Wednesday's edition. | 254-501-7554

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