Samsung Electronics Co. agreed with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. s financial-services affiliate to cooperate on mobile payments, as the world s largest smartphone-maker looks to expand its presence in China, a market where it has struggled in recent years.In a statement, the companies said Samsung s mobile payment service, dubbed Samsung Pay, will work with Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial Services Group s Alipay, which has more than 450 million active registered users.For Samsung, which is touting Samsung Pay as a selling point for its premium devices, a tie-up with Alipay could give its service wider reach in a market it is desperate to restore its fortunes in.For Alibaba, working with the world s largest smartphone maker could help it expand overseas, a priority for the company.Last month, Alipay launched in Europe, and earlier this year, Alipay signed a deal with Uber Technologies Inc. to allow Chinese users to pay for rides with Alipay while traveling outside mainland China.While Alipay is mostly used for settling online transactions, it is increasingly being accepted by brick-and-mortar retailers and restaurants around China.
Samsung Electronics has announced a partnership with the parent company of Alipay called Ant Financial Services Group that will expand Samsung Pay in China.Under this new partnership, users can add an Alipay account on supported Samsung mobile phones via Samsung Pay.After registering the Alipay account in Samsung Pay, users can pay with their mobile phone by swiping up from the lock or home screen or sleep mode, choosing the Alipay QR code, and scanning it on the scanner at the register."The reception of Samsung Pay since its launch has been extremely positive and the service has already seen tremendous success in terms of availability and adoption by consumers.At the same time, it also developed a variety of offline use cases, including restaurants, supermarkets, convenience stores, taxis, hospitals and public services.The technology integration facilitated by this partnership with Samsung Electronics will make the payment process faster and more convenient when users make payments at stores where Alipay is accepted."
Samsung announced today that it has cemented a deal that will make Alipay, China s largest online payments platform, available through Samsung Pay.The partnership, made between Samsung Electronics and Ant Financial, the Alibaba financial tech affiliate that owns Alipay, is important because Alipay is one of the most formidable rivals mobile payments like Samsung Pay and Apple Pay face as they tackle the Chinese market.Alipay, which claims about 450 million active registered users, launched the Alipay Wallet smartphone app, which stores credit card and coupon information and can be used for offline payments, back in 2013.The deal hasn t been announced yet, but the popularity of iPhones in China—they still hold about a 14.6 percent market share, despite competition from Android rivals like Huawei and Xiaomi—means it would not be surprising if one was announced soon, too.In a press statement, Fan Zhiming, the president of Ant Financial s payment business unit, said the partnership will allow Alipay to expand its reach beyond e-commerce: Alipay covers the vast majority of online payment use cases.At the same time, it also developed a variety of offline use cases, including restaurants, supermarkets, convenience stores, taxis, hospitals, and public services.
An Alipay Wallet advertisement.Photo: David WongSamsung Electronics is teaming up with Alibaba-backed Alipay to allow Samsung Pay users to link their Alipay accounts to the app, as the South Korean giant looks to get more Chinese users on board its mobile payments service.Injong Rhee, executive vice-president at Samsung Electronics, said that Samsung will be working with Alipay to expand Samsung Pay services in China .Alipay covers the vast majority of online payment use cases, said Fan Zhiming, president of the Payment Business Unit at Ant Financial.The technology integration … with Samsung Electronics will make the payment process faster and more convenient when users make payments at stores where Alipay is accepted.Samsung s shrinking market share and the fact that Samsung Pay is only compatible with its later devices mean the company s user base is limited to customers who are willing to shell out for a high-end Samsung phone.
The data is primarily taken from Alipay, Alibaba s online payment platform.The index, growing 12.1 times from January of 2011 to April of 2016, shows that the contribution of online shopping to China s GDP in 2015 is twice that of its contribution in 2012.The focus of online shopping in China is shifting from goods to services.Data shows that online consumption of foods and entertainment grew 70.2 times over five years, an average monthly growth rate of 7.0%.Additionally, luxury needs, rather than basic needs are now driving this transformation in online shopping patterns.Chinese consumers discretionary spending, focused in areas like cosmetics, jewelry and sports products, are feeding markets that are outgrowing the online markets for basic consumer commodities and foodstuffs in many cities and provinces.The top five regions for online spending are Beijing, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, and Guangdong.The last five places on this ranking are comparatively poorer, confirming a link between the local economies and their rate of online spending.Male and female consumers also have their respective online shopping patterns.Top photo from Baidu Images
The owner of Alipay has tied up on global payments with firms such as Uber Technologies Inc. and hired former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. senior partner Douglas Feagin in its push for international business.Our tactic is to look for partners in all countries to help us achieve the goal of offering inclusive financing globally.In South Korea, it won preliminary approval of an Internet bank license through SK Telecom Co., she added.Ant Financial is considering an initial public offering on the Shanghai stock exchange as early as this year, people familiar with the matter said last month.Controlled by billionaire Alibaba founder Jack Ma, Ant Financial has evolved from an outsider in a tightly controlled industry to an online giant now working with the largest state players, including China s sovereign wealth fund and the nation s second-largest bank.That includes Alipay, the most popular way for people to shop on Alibaba s platforms, and Tencent Holdings Ltd s Weixin Payment.Users need to provide at least five verification methods to have a so-called comprehensive account, allowing annual online or mobile payments of as much as 200,000 yuan $30,500 per person.Alipay said last week customers who don t have a mainland China bank card won t be able to keep money in accounts from July 1, though overseas users will still be allowed to use other payment methods, such as credit cards, to shop on Alibaba websites.
The Chinese e-commerce giant, which went public in 2014 in the largest NYSE IPO in history, quietly disclosed that the SEC is looking into whether it has violated federal securities laws.The probe focus is centered around Alibaba s relationship with its affiliate organizations, its business on Singles Day, China s largest online shopping day in which Alibaba grossed $14.3 billion in sales last year, and other general investments.Alibaba has spent more than $40 billion on M over the past five years, including recent billion dollar deals with food delivery firm Ele.me, Southeast Asia s Lazada and video site Youku Tudou, so there s plenty to pore over.The Chinese firm has a number of affiliate companies, including Ant Financial — which controls its Alipay service — and Cainiao, which is focused on logistics and recently raised its first external funding at a reported valuation of $7.7 billion.Cainiao was founded three years ago with partners from the logistics industry.Alibaba holds a 48 percent share in the business, but its exact role and financial involvement in the organization is unclear, as The New York Times pointed out last year.
New York-listed Alibaba, the world s largest e-commerce services company, saw its share price fall 6.8 per cent to US$75.59 in US trading on Wednesday -- its steepest drop since January -- on news of the SEC probe that the company disclosed in its regulatory filing this week.On the substantive topics in the SEC inquiry, we are confident of our accounting for consolidation, and of our robust and transparent disclosures in our 20-F and March quarterly earnings about major equity-method investees, such as Cainiao and Koubei, as well as related party transactions, Tsai said.Koubei is the online-to-offline, daily deals joint venture that Alibaba established with affiliate Ant Financial Services Group, which operates online payment platform Alipay.Noted short-seller James Chanos, the founder of Kynikos Associates, had also questioned Alibaba s accounting metrics and cash flow.Alibaba earlier this month reported a 193 per cent jump in net profit to 71.29 billion yuan HK$84.39 billion in the 12 months to March, up from 24.32 billion yuan in its previous fiscal year.We believe it is still difficult for US generalist investors to grasp the massive numbers on Singles Day because they under-appreciate the potential purchasing power of Chinese consumers and the prevalence of mobile commerce in China, Tsai said.
Uber Technologies Inc. said Wednesday it raised $3.5 billion from the investment arm of Saudi Arabia, a grand gesture from the Middle East that represents the largest-ever U.S. funding round for a venture-backed company.The investment from Saudi Arabia s Public Investment Fund values the ride-hailing company at more than $66 billion, including the amount of cash raised in the recent round, Uber said in an emailed statement.Yasir Al Rumayyan, the managing director of Saudi Arabia s Public Investment Fund, is taking a seat on Uber s board.The company said it plans to work with the government to create more opportunities for women in the country.This is the largest slug of capital raised by Uber, topping an earlier $2.8 billion round, the previous U.S. record, according to Dow Jones VentureSource.Earlier this year, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. BABA -6.48 % s affiliate, Ant Financial Services Group, raised $4.5 billion in a funding round, while China online retailer Meituan-Dianping collected $3.3 billion.
China s largest classified ad platform, 58 Ganji, has incubated a project named Bangbang to help users share their skills.Bangbang, literally meaning help out in Chinese, was launched in last September and became available on App Store in December.The app has been installed on 30,000 devices and It now sees around 150 orders placed per month.The team of Bangbang photo from Bangbang Other than resources from 58 Ganji, Bangbang also attracts service providers via instant messaging software such as QQ and WeChat, where fans of various hobbies have gathered and connected.The app has a system of human and automatic moderators to examine submitted services and ensure that they are publishable.For services such as pet fostering, Bangbang will send staff to check the fosterage place onsite.The app is designed for services, and it is specific about what can be considered a service, and what can be considered a good: for example, sales of soaps are forbidden on the platform, but instructing people on how to hand make the soap is acceptable.In the future, the app, now offering non-standardized services, plans to set some service standards to ensure good user experience.Third-party credit scoring systems such as Ant Financial s Sesame Credit may also be applied to the platform, and so too will insurance be considered to deal with risks that may arise.Despite offering various services, the app has not accumulated many user reviews over the past six months.Kongge is a platform with a focus on location-based services to help entrepreneurs grow.
Photo: AP FILE - In this Aug. 6.The Korean company said Friday, Feb. 19, 2016, that it s coming to China in March, a month after rival Apple Pay.AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File Mainland China has become the world s largest and fastest-growing market for proximity mobile payments, with more than a third of the nation s smartphone subscribers predicted to be using the technology this year, analysts said.That upbeat forecast by research company eMarketer followed recent initiatives by China UnionPay, the country s sole domestic bank card organisation, to introduce branded mobile payment services from smartphone suppliers Apple, Samsung Electronics and Xiaomi in the domestic market.China s proximity mobile payments market still remains largely untapped, with usage mostly concentrated in larger citiesShelleen Shun, eMarketerProximity mobile payments are purchases made at the point of sale by tapping, swiping or checking in with a smartphone, using so-called near-field communications NFC built in the handset or other technologies like the machine-readable optical label known as QR code.A Jefferies research note has described those initiatives as showing China UnionPay s determination to win back lost ground from larger domestic payment rivals Alipay, the payments business of Alibaba Group affiliate Ant Financial Services, and Tencent Holdings Tenpay.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. s finance affiliate has acquired a 20 percent stake in Shanghai Suntime Information Technology Co., a data provider tracking Chinese hedge funds, according to people with knowledge of the matter.Zhejiang Ant Small & Micro Financial Services Group paid 250 million yuan $38 million in cash for the stake earlier this week, said the people, who asked not to be named because the deal hasn t been publicly disclosed.Ant Financial, as the company is known, becomes the largest owner of Shanghai Suntime after the closely held data provider s Chairman Liao Bing, according to one of the people.Ant Financial is controlled by billionaire Alibaba founder Jack Ma, who has been building his media and financial information empire.The financial affiliate, which controls the company that manages China s largest money-market fund Yu E Bao, is in talks to invest in Chinese business magazine publisher Caixin Media Co. Alibaba bought Hong Kong s South China Morning Post and last year also formed a joint venture with Shanghai Media Group Inc. to create a financial data and information service.With the latest acquisition, Ant Financial is tapping the potential of the nation s rapidly-growing hedge fund industry as more wealthy Chinese turn to private managers.Shanghai Suntime, founded in 2003 by Liao, runs one of the biggest databases tracking Chinese hedge funds, provides profit forecasts for listed companies and offers wealth-management services.The number of private securities funds, the Chinese equivalent of hedge funds, jumped more than 140 percent from a year earlier to 18,297 as of May 31, and assets under management almost doubled to 2.2 trillion yuan during that period, according to the Asset Management Association of China.Ant Financial, which is said to be valued at around $60 billion after raising $4.5 billion earlier this year, has evolved from an outsider in a tightly controlled industry to an online giant now working with the largest state-run entities, including China s sovereign wealth fund and the nation s second-largest bank.The firm also runs China s biggest online payment service, Alipay, with 450 million users.Ant Financial declined to comment in an e-mailed statement.Phone calls to Liao s office on a Chinese holiday went unanswered.— With assistance by Dingmin Zhang, and Lulu Chen
MoreSignage for Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. covers the front facade of the New York Stock Exchange November 11, 2015.REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File PhotoHONG KONG Reuters - Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's affiliate Ant Financial has bought a fifth of financial data provider Shanghai Suntime Information Technology for around $35 million, a source with direct knowledge of the deal said."The acquisition will provide Ant Financial with good financial products so that it can attract more clients," the source told Reuters on Friday.Its core Alipay online payment business was founded in 2004.The Alibaba affiliate closed a $4.5 billion funding round in April.Ant Financial and Shanghai Suntime, which was founded in 2003, were not immediately available for comment on Friday, a public holiday in China.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. s financial affiliate is planning to purchase a 20 percent stake in Thailand s Ascend Money in a bid to become a key financial services player in Southeast Asia.Zhejiang Ant Small & Micro Financial Services Group, known as Ant Financial and controlled by Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma, also wants an option to increase its Ascend Money holding to 30 percent, according to a statement on China s Ministry of Commerce s website.The agency is currently reviewing the plans.An investment into Ascend Money, parent of True Money and Ascend Nano, would help Ant Financial expand its online payments and small loans business in Southeast Asia.The company, which is said to be valued at about $60 billion, is following billionaire Ma s aspirations for global expansion as it ventures into countries including South Korea and India.Ascend Group Co. Ltd. was spun off from True Corporation and is a subsidiary of Thailand s Charoen Pokphand Group Co Ltd., which has interests in agriculture, retail businesses and telecommunications.The Ascend Nano unit is a microfinance and personal loans provider with staff throughout Southeast Asia.The division s goal is to spread ecommerce and electronic payments services to places where many users lack bank accounts such as Myanmar and Indonesia.True Money provides cash cards and electronic wallets, and holds financial-services licenses in key Southeast Asian markets.Ascend Group Chief Executive Officer Punnamas Vichitkulwongsa in April told the Bangkok Post the company will spend 6 billion baht $170 million on expansion this year, 83 percent of which will be spent outside of Thailand."The pending investment reflects our commitment to expand internationally, and to bring equal access of financial services to more users around the world," Ant Financial said in an-e-mailed statement.In South Korea, it won preliminary approval of an Internet bank license through SK Telecom Co.Ant Financial is considering an initial public offering on the Shanghai stock exchange as early as this year, people familiar with the matter have said.
Alipay Hong Kong Holding Ltd., a unit of the e-commerce major s affiliate Zhejiang Ant Small & Micro Financial Services Group—known as Ant Financial—is also seeking an option that would allow it to further raise its stake in the Thai financial-services company to 30%, according to a statement published on the website of China s Ministry of Commerce.Ant Financial is dedicated to promote inclusive financial services in China and beyond and the pending investment reflects our commitment to expand internationally, and to bring equal access of financial services to more users around the world, the company said Saturday in a statement, adding that the planned investment was conditional on approval from the antimonopoly division of China s commerce ministry.The plan marks the latest move to expand into Southeast Asia by Ant Financial, which now operates in 70 countries and has raised $4.5 billion in funding.Ascend Money Holding is a newly established business unit of Ascend Group, which was established in early 2015 as a spinoff from True Corp., one of Thailand s top three telecommunications operators.Ascend Group s businesses, which range from e-commerce and electronic payments to digital marketing as well as venture capital, have expanded to five other Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia and the Philippines.Ascend Group s public-relations office said Saturday that Punnamas Vichitkulwongsa, the company s chief executive, had no comment on the Alibaba affiliate s plan to acquire the stake.
BERLIN Reuters — Wirecard AG is negotiating with representatives of Alipay, a unit of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, about it taking a stake of up to 25 percent in the German banking software company, a newspaper reported on Sunday.Without citing its sources, the Bild am Sonntag weekly said Wirecard was in confidential talks withAlipay about it taking a stake of up to 25 percent, and possibly more later.A Wirecard spokeswoman declined to comment on the specifics of the report but confirmed that the company was in strategic talks with various partners, without elaborating.A source familiar with the matter said Ant Financial, which operates the Alipay platform, was not talking to Wirecard about an investment.In December, the two companies agreed to a deal to provide mobile phone payment services for Chinese tourists visiting Europe.The newspaper said both sides had an interest in the deal: The Chinese want access to German expertise, while Wirecard would like to have a large shareholder, because its share price has come under pressure from short-sellers.A deal would mark the latest Chinese investment in a German firm after a 4.5 billion euro takeover bid by China s Midea for German industrial robot maker Kuka.Alipay counts more than 400 million active users of its payment systems in China, representing an estimated 80 percent of the mobile payments market and 50 percent of the online market in the world s second-largest economy.Its electronic wallet system is widely used in both retail shops and for online transactions.Reporting by Emma Thomasson, John Ruwitch and Joern Poltz; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky
View photosMoreA man walks out of a Postal Savings Bank of China branch in Beijing April 23, 2015.By Sumeet Chatterjee and Elzio BarretoHONG KONG Reuters - As part of plans for an up-to-$10 billion initial public offering, Postal Savings Bank of China PSBC aims to transform itself from a brick-and-mortar lender into a digital player, helped by its investors Ant Financial and Tencent Holdings.According to both the state-owned bank's IPO prospectus and people familiar with its plans, PSBC plans to work with online services firm Tencent and Ant, an online payments affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding, to launch a range of internet-based consumer finance services.In the document, made public this week, the bank with a network of 40,000 branches across China said it wanted to deepen cooperation with Ant and Tencent's online finance arm, WeBank, in internet and mobile finance.PSBC said it plans to "actively explore" the setting up of a mobile payment system and speed up the development of mobile phone-based services.
Chinese brainiac Wang Yuheng has beaten Alipay's facial recognition AI robot Mark in a live competition matching hundreds of celebrities to photosArtificial intelligence may be incredibly powerful today, but sometimes a human brain is still best – a Chinese celebrity famed for his superhuman photographic memory capabilities has beaten an AI robot in a live facial recognition context.Alipay, owned by Ant Financial, is China's largest digital payment service with 48% market share and more than 190 million active users, which also makes it the world's largest mobile payment service.The service has recently launched a facial recognition AI feature for its service called Mark, that can identify and authenticate users of the payment service with a 99.5% success rate.To celebrate the launch of Mark, Alipay held a publicity stunt where it challenged Wang Yuheng, a 34-year-old Beijing-based man who won a reality TV competition called The Brain to beat the computer, and to their surprise, he did.The first two rounds of the competition required Wang and Mark to identify a large number of celebrities in the studio that were livestreaming on iPhones from between 150 and 300 photographs listed on an electronic board, and the AI robot was neck and neck with Wang until the final round, when the contestants were asked to identify the correct childhood photographs of two additional livestreaming hosts.
I m Fred Raillard, Creative CEO, Co-founder and Creative Chief Officer of FRED & FARID, a social, content, tech solutions for brands company based in Paris, Shanghai, Beijing and New York.In partnership with FRED & FARID, BFM Business launches FredinChina, a social media podcast in Chine Hebdo , the weekly radio broadcast of Mathieu Jolivet.The brand belongs to Alibaba, and you may remember a topic earlier this year about AlphaGo , which is the Google software designed to play the Chinese game of Go .Now the AlphaGo software beat the best human players in China this year, making a lot of noise about Artificial Intelligence and Google in China.So this time, Ant Financial designed a software using A.I and organized a face recognition contest against humans.They chose a very smart guy who was a champion who won the Super Brain TV show in China, and put him in a room in front of 150 portraits of Chinese KOL s. He had 20 minutes to look at all the portraits, and then had to recognize each KOL who entered the room.
According to a report published by Goldman Sachs last March, about 80% of Bitcoin transactions are driven by the Chinese yuan.Bitcoin was a great experiment in monetary policy, says Andrew Keys, the Head of Global Business Development at Consensus Systems ConsenSys , a venture production studio for blockchain-based applications and tools.Ether is the cryptocurrency used on Ethereum, a blockchain-based software platform that came five years after Bitcoin.While Bitcoin was designed primarily for peer-to-peer monetary transactions, such as payments, Ethereum was invented to fit a much broader context.Put another way, Ethereum is a way for software programs, or what are known as contracts on Ethereum,  to execute the way they were programmed to without interference.That means that two parties can agree on and be held to a digital contract without lawyers, the police, or any kind of intermediary.
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