China’s Alipay takes on Apple in US expansion


Alipay, the Chinese digital payment giant owned by ecommerce giant Alibaba, is expanding in the US.

Customers will be able to use Alipay at about 4 million businesses after a deal was signed with credit card processing service First Data.

The deal is chiefly aimed at Chinese tourists visiting North America.

It follows a small trial in California and New York, and brings Alipay into direct competition with the likes of ApplePay, Android Pay and PayPal.

Overseas push

Along with rival WeChat, Alipay dominates the Chinese mobile payments market, and both firms are looking to increase their presence abroad.

But there are also signs of US firms in the same industry looking for opportunities in China.

In February, Apple teamed up with China’s state-owned bankcard association, China Union Pay, allowing the lender’s cardholders to use ApplePay.

Globally Alipay has about 450 million customers. As well as online payments and money transfers, users can also hail a taxi, book a hotel and buy movie tickets directly from the within the app.

Owned by Jack Ma’s Ant Financial, it is Alibaba’s digital payments arm.

Earlier this year Ant Financial bought US-based MoneyGram for $880m (£700m). MoneyGram has about 350,000 outlets in nearly 200 countries. That takeover is under review, and needs regulatory approval from the US Committee on Foreign Investment.



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