Alipay's Rakuten Tie-Up

Alipay, the payments arm of Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba, has taken a giant step away from its massive parent company with a tie-up with Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten.

Since last week it has been easier for Chinese customers to use the Rakuten Global Market, Rakuten’s international shopping service, as the company has started accepting Alipay as a payment method. Though Rakuten is dominant in it home-market in Japan, it has had difficulty establishing itself on the international scene.

The Rakuten tie-up comes as Alibaba prepares for their American IPO. Alipay will not be part of that public offering, as Alipay is no longer part of the Alibaba Group. Alibaba chairman Jack Ma spun off the unit and brought it under his control in 2011 on the ground that the move was necessary due to regulations that wouldn’t allow Alipay to continue as part of Alibaba.


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