Ant Financial, the Alibaba affiliate that operates the payment service Alipay, announced its strategic partnership with CK Hutchison, a telecom giant in Hong Kong owned by Li Ka-shing, on 26th September 2017. The two parties will be committed themselves to bringing convenient digital wallet services to more consumers in Hong Kong.
According to public information, CK Hutchison has businesses all over the world ranging from ports, retail, infrastructure, energy to telecommunications and in Hong Kong, possesses over 600 stores selling everything from telecommunications, food and electronics to wine, and health and beauty products.
In May 2017, Alipay officially rolled out AlipayHK, a mobile wallet and payment app in the city. Within two weeks of the launch it had attracted more than 100,000 active users and so far its QR code scanning payment has been accepted in about 4,000 retail stores, said Ant Financial.
Some industry experts pointed out that the cooperation between Ant Financial and Hutchison was inevitable because the two companies are holding the same strategy and ambition towards a global presence. China’s mobile payment, with Alipay being the most prominent representative, is one of the few industries that has succeeded in exporting both technology and operation mode to various countries. This particularly applied to industry titans like Ant Financial, whose broader international network is already under way. Hong Kong is the first crucial target in that greater layout.
Apart from digital payments in physical stores, Alipay enables features covering many aspects of consumers’ every-day life, like a third-party insurance product, and the diversification is probably the reason Hutchison decided on the collaboration.
“By leveraging CK Hutchison’s extensive market presence and combining its commercial experience with Ant Financial’s technology expertise, we will bring great benefits not only to our telecoms, retail, and other customers of the group, but also to all businesses in Hong Kong,” said Fok Kin-ning, co-managing director of CK Hutchison
“There are millions of people travelling across the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area every month, so we believe that our users will enjoy the tremendous benefits delivered through this strategic partnership,” Eric Jing, the chief executive at Ant Financial, said.
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