Retailing, Franchising, and Consumerism Business Intelligence in China

Chinese Online Payment Service Targets Global Retailers

Alibaba Group's online payment service Alipay has launched a new international service which allows consumers in Mainland China to buy from global retailers.

Alipay was launched in 2004 by Alibaba Group, which also owns, Taobao, Yahoo! China and Alisoft. As of August 20, 2007, Alipay claims more than 47 million users in China, growing at a rate of more than 80,000 new
registered users each day. Alipay's average daily transaction volume exceeds RMB150 million, handling an average 780,000 transactions each day.

Jack Ma, chairman of the Alibaba Group, said, "Our mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. Alipay's trusted online payment service plays a vital role in fulfilling that mission. Now that Alipay is China's most popular online payment system, it's a natural step for us to expand the service globally."

Statistics show that shopping is the major reason Chinese nationals travel abroad. MasterCard forecasts that 19 million travelers from Mainland China will make overseas trips in the second half of 2007 alone. Alipay's new international service enables foreign currency transactions between Chinese consumers and overseas retailers. The service is one of the first online payment service of its kind in China, enabling transactions between renminbi and 12 major foreign currencies.

Alipay's first international partner retailers include Sa Sa International Holdings Limited, an Asian cosmetics retailing and beauty services group; StrawberryNET, a provider of discounted designer skin care, make-up, cosmetics, perfume and men's and women's fragrances; and J Shoppers, a subsidiary of Japan's largest listed mail order company Nissen On- line, focusing on mail order sales outside Japan.

Alipay expects to expand its overseas partner list to over 100 retail websites by the end of the year, to cover product providers ranging from cosmetics, fashion, bags and jewelry to household and digital products. The company also predicts the international service will reach monthly transaction volumes of RMB800 million by the end of 2007.

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