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Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial enters Malaysian market

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-05-22 17:46

KUALA LUMPUR - Ant Financial, the affiliate financial service of China's e-commerce giant Alibaba, entered partnership with 7-Eleven Malaysia on Monday by officially launching the Alipay cashless payment service in over 2,100 stores in Malaysia.

The payment service, facilitated by local third party payment platform MOL Accessportal, mainly targets tourists from the Chinese mainland, the number of which exceeded 2.1 million in 2016.

The Malaysian government is expecting to receive more than 3 million arrivals from China this year.

The partnership came after Alibaba group in March announced a plan to set up an e-commerce hub in Malaysia encompassing logistics, cloud-computing and e-financial services to boost trade and e-commerce in the region, part of the collaboration between Alibaba and the Malaysian government in the development of a Digital Free Trade Zone in Malaysia.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, while attending the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing earlier this month, also paid a visit to the headquarters of Alibaba group.

Vincent Tan Chee Yioun, founder of Malaysia's Berjaya Group and majority shareholder of 7-Eleven Malaysia and MOL Global, Inc, the parent company of MOL Accessportal, said the partnership is a win-win solution for Ant Financial and 7-Eleven, as well as for China and Malaysia.

Tan also pledged to bring Alipay to more businesses and retailer shops under the Berjaya group, including Starbucks, Kenny Rogers, Cosway, Radioshack as well as Berjaya hotels and resorts.

The entry of Alipay to Malaysia will be quite challenging for local Malaysian payment service providers, said Tan, adding it is not a bad idea though, in that someday perhaps Malaysian people can also use Alipay when they go to China.

Douglas Feagin, senior vice president of International Business at Ant Financial, when asked about Alipay's plan to reach local Malaysian customers, said Ant Financial will focus in the first place on serving the Alipay customers as they come to Malaysia, and a local solution comes a little bit later.

He declined to give a user projection for the Malaysian market, but noted that half a billion people in China now are Alipay users.

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