Apple Pay

Will Alibaba Go Apple, PayPal or Both?

Following its record-breaking $9.3 billion Singles’ Day sales, Alibaba is looking to work with PayPal to expand payment options, Bloomberg reported.

The Chinese Internet giant is also evaluating the merit of Apple Pay as an alternative for consumers when Alibaba’s Alipay isn’t accepted, Bloomberg reported Vice President Chairman Joseph Tsai said in an interview. Singles’ Day growth, which generated $5.9 billion in the first 14 hours of the day, may be enough to spur more partnerships.

“If you look at our footprint of being the largest online payment company in China, and PayPal’s position of having a very good international position, not just in the U.S. but also in some other countries, these are some complementary footprints,” Tsai said in that interview Monday (Nov. 10).

As reported Tuesday (Nov. 11) on, Alibaba said its sales for Singles’ Day surpassed $2 billion in the first hour alone, which included more than $1 million in Alipay transactions in the first 18 minutes. Of that, 45.7 percent of first-hour sales were via mobile.

Alibaba’s Singles’ Day numbers were within par of its $10 billion sales prediction and follows the e-commerce operator’s global expansion process that came with the biggest IPO ever just two months ago. Alibaba’s financial affiliate, Zhejiang Ant Small & Micro Financial Services Group Co., is the owner of Alipay and has 17.9 million active users and is used in more than 100 countries. Going public for this company could help Alibaba’s growth.

“Going public is way to help the company do better work,” Tsai said, according to Bloomberg.  “We hope in the future the Chinese stock market will have the kind of liquidity and scale that can welcome a company like Ant Financial.”

Bloomberg also reported that Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma and Apple CEO Tim Cook said last month that they are open to working together on projects that would turn phones into tools for buying and selling goods.

“Their team is talking to our team,” Tsai followed up with in the Nov. 10 interview. “We would be interested in working with them to power that payment function.”

Alibaba’s success with its sixth annual Singles’ Day could set the stage for global growth for the E-commerce giant as Alibaba recently announced its plans to offer more than 1 million items to consumers outside of China and plans to continue to expand the holiday. The company said Alibaba has already reached agreements with governments and vendors from the U.S., France, and South Korea.

“November 11 is a key milestone for Alibaba,” said Allen Xu, managing director of consultant OgilvyOne Shanghai in the Bloomberg article. “The company used the festival to build its dominance as an e-commerce player linking businesses to consumers in China. With the IPO of Alibaba, the company has the ambition to make this brand go global.”


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