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Posts Tagged ‘ Alibaba ’

Ant Financial, the payment affiliate of Alibaba, has claimed that its number of daily active users doubled in 2016.

So far, the company has not yet disclosed data about the total number of active daily users, but it has reported that over 450 million people use its Alipay service for payments and various financial services like wealth management and insurance.

Launched in 2004, Alipay provides payment services for Alibaba’s ecommerce platform. Currently, it controls 54% of the total market shares, but competitor Tencent has made significant advances in 2016 to secure a wider market share. Now, Tenctent’s WeixinPay has a 37% market share.

Both competitors have expanded their payment services to physical stores. Tencent said that 29% of all in-store Starbucks purchases in mainland China were made through WeixinPay. In a similar move, Ant Financial managed to sign a deal with First Data that could give the company access to a potential 4.5 million merchants in the US. Similar agreements have also been signed in Europe with Ingenico and BNP.

The market has been expecting on an IPO from Ant, valued at USD 60billion at its last funding round in 2016, but it is currently off the agenda, at least until the end of 2018, the Financial Times reported.

Alipay to launch in the US

By on May 12, 2017

 

Alipay, the mobile payment system offered by Alibaba, has announced is coming to the US, thanks to a deal brokered with First Data.

The expansion follows limited trials in California and New York, and will bring Alipay into direct competition with Apple Pay, Android Pay, and PayPal. Alongside online payments and money transfers, Alipay users can also hail a taxi, book a hotel, and buy movie tickets directly from within the app.

The partnership will allow Chinese tourists who visit the US to use their mobile phones to complete transactions at 4 million merchants and retailers around the country.

Alipay has about 450 million customers worldwide, but Alipay’s deal with First Data aims to offset the mobile payment’s loss of ground in China.

alibaba-drone

Is drone delivery the future of ecommerce? That’s an open question, but the concept looks to be taking a big blow in China this month, with authorities slated to roll out regulations that will reportedly ban urban drone delivery.

 

Currently, drones exist in a relatively unregulated space in China. But at the General Aviation Development Summit in Beijing last week, China Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) secretary Ke Yuyu revealed that a new set of draft regulations on drones are due to be released this month. These new rules have already been passed by China’s Civil Aviation Administration and are currently in the middle of other approval procedures.
As they stand, the regulations don’t look good for those who were hoping that drones would one day replace China’s fast-delivery bike couriers. Ke says the regulations would require registration and aviation authority approval for drones over 25 kg (55 lbs), and drones capable of carrying cargo or weighing more than 150 kg (330 lbs) would be subject to even more stringent restrictions. But passing those restrictions won’t change things for ecommerce players, because according to Ke the regulations ban drone delivery outright in congested urban areas.

 

These regulations haven’t been formally passed or even released yet, so it’s possible that Ke is mistaken or that the final draft could include changes. Certainly, ecommerce players with plans for drone delivery (like Alibaba) may want to lobby aviation authorities for looser rules. And of course, we still don’t know the specifics, so it’s possible the regulations sound harsher in summary than they are in actuality.

 

Whether they’re as harsh as they sound or not, the new rules likely aren’t a permanent ban. Instead, they’re more of a recognition that drone technology isn’t sophisticated enough yet. In its current state, drone delivery in urban environments could be dangerous due to the high number of obstacles and the high probability of people getting hurt if there is an accident. So while urban drone delivery will be banned for now, it might well be unbanned at some point in the future if authorities are convinced the technology is there to do it safely.