Apple Pay

An Alipay, Apple Pay “Marriage”?

Alibaba’s executive chairman, Jack Ma, said late Monday (Oct. 27) that Alibaba would like to partner with Apple on financial payments, but offered no details on what such a deal might look like.

“I hope we can do something together,” Ma said, according to a Wall Street Journal report, stressing that it would need to be a “marriage” that both sides want.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, who spoke shortly after Ma at a Wall Street Journal tech conference, said that he was going to meet with Ma to discuss possible partnerships, but also didn’t offer any specifics, not even that such a deal might involve payments. Cook did volunteer that Alibaba has “all the traits of a company that Apple would like to partner with,” the story said.

Alibaba’s payments engine, Alipay, has 300 million active users, Ma said. And it’s money-market fund received slightly less than $100 billion in deposits after its launch in June, the story said.

Ma also talked about the need for payments change within China. “If banks do not change, let’s change the banks,” he said, noting Alipay is the third-largest payment service in the world after Visa and MasterCard, the Journal reported.

The Alibaba executive was also vague about his interests in PayPal, which will spin off from parent eBay next year. “I have my Alipay,” he said.

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