Apple-Alibaba payments alliance to focus on China

A payment alliance between Apple and Alibaba’s payments arm Alipay would focus on the Chinese market, a senior Alibaba executive said on Tuesday.

The two parties are currently discussing the specifics of a possible partnership, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“Right now, I think what we can say is that this is focused on the China market for Apple,” Alibaba Executive Vice Chairman Joseph Tsai said. “We are positive about the potential cooperation, but it depends on the details being worked out.”

As Apple Pay expands beyond the US, Alibaba’s financial affiliate could provide back-end services for Apple’s payment system, allowing iPhone users to pay with Apple Pay using the money from their Alipay accounts, Tsai added.

Alibaba founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma made approving noises about a payments partnership between the two companies last month, but noted that any “marriage” would have to be an equal one.

The two companies are considering working together as Apple is likely to  have certain restrictions and limitations on operating payments businesses in China, Tsai said.





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