Alipay, China's biggest online payment platform run by Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma, has forged a cross-use deal with KakaoPay launched by South Korea's largest top mobile messaging service.
KakaoPay received an investment of 200 million US dollars from Ant Financial Services Group, the operator of Alipay, for their strategic cooperation to provide simplified shopping at online and offline stores affiliated with the two mobile payment services.
KakaoPay has been launched by Kakao Corp., the operator of South Korea's largest mobile messaging service Kakao Talk with 48 million subscribers.
Alipay had the biggest market share in China with 400 million users and control nearly half of China's online payment market. It operates with dozens of financial institutions to provide payment services for Taobao and Tmall as well as more than 460,000 Chinese businesses. Internationally, more than 300 worldwide merchants use Alipay to sell directly to consumers in China.
With its synchronized service with Alipay, KakaoPay acquired a strong weapon in its competition with local rival Samsung Pay, a mobile payment service launched by Samsung Electronics, one of the world's largest smartphone makers.
Latest figures on the number of active users of Samsung Pay and KakaoPay are not available.
The agreement would help Alibaba expand its business in South Korea. In December last year, Alipay opened its first-ever overseas customer center in Seoul to provide various customer services to Chinese visitors.
Through Alipay, Chinese visitors can receive various customer services such as online payment, luggage storage, tax refund information, and foreign exchanges. Apple's mobile payment has yet to debut in South Korea.
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