Feeds

Alipay to tempt West's credit cards into China

Take that, PayPal: cross-border payments

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Alipay, China's answer to PayPal, already has 600 million account holders, but is looking to head west and enable cross-border payments for anyone with a credit card.

Chinese media is reporting that technical barriers have been overcome, and that international access to Chinese markets by ordinary credit card holders is only a month or two away. This'll be one in the eye for PayPal, which still has to operate separate businesses in China for internal and external transactions.

The Chinese don't like their currency being traded around the world, so getting money into and out of China is fraught with complications. That's why companies like PayPal have to run separate operations: PayPal.com for those wanting to make payments originating and terminating outside the country, and PayPal.cn for internal transactions, but Alipay reckons it can strike deals with the credit card companies to facilitate cross-border transactions.

Alipay used to be owned by Yahoo!'s best mate locally, Alibaba. Alipay was spun off last August, and is still affiliated with the group of companies that includes tat bazaar Taobao, which is comparable to PayPal's owner eBay, and Alibaba.com, which links companies together (generally Chinese manufacturers and western retailers) for mutual gain.

If Alipay can fix up international payments then it will mean anyone with a credit card (and an Alipay account) will be able to buy direct from China, assuming shipping can be arranged. Buying from a Chinese shop could become as easy as buying from the USA and perhaps a lot cheaper; that will encourage a lot of westerners to sign up to Alipay and put the site in a decent position to take on PayPal for the rest of the world market.

Local blog Penn Olson reckons there are already a million people who can already buy direct from mainland China using Alipay, as they're based in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau (areas Penn Olson describes as "Greater China", though the government of Taiwan might choose to disagree). That million is nothing compared to the potential for Alipay if it can put the deals in place, while PayPal will be forced to play catch up. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
BIG FAT Lies: Porky Pies about obesity
What really shortens lives? Reading this sort of crap in the papers
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.