Alibaba and Apple in Talks Over China-Focused Payments Partnership
An Alibaba executive said today that the Chinese e-commerce company and Apple are currently in talks over a partnership to provide a payments solution for China, reports The Wall Street Journal. The comments were shared by Alibaba Executive Vice Chairman Joseph Tsai, who also noted that the partnership would focus on Apple's presence in China and that the details are still being worked out.
A partnership between both companies could potentially see Alibaba's Alipay electronic payments service integrate with Apple Pay to provide a comprehensive mobile payments solution for the Chinese market. The comments from Tsai come weeks after Alibaba founder Jack Ma noted that he was interesting in teaming up Apple in the payments sector.
Earlier this year, Alipay overtook PayPal to become the largest mobile payments platform in the world with an estimated $150 billion in transactions processed in 2013. Alibaba also noted that the service has 300 million registered users and 100 million mobile users. Integrating Alipay with Apple Pay would be the latest move by Apple to expand its presence in China, which has grown over the past few years. Last year, Apple struck a deal with country's biggest carrier China Mobile and has opened a number of new retail stores in populated areas like Shanghai and Shenzhen.