Alibaba, Samsung Join Hands For Mobile Payments Service

Chinese online retail behemoth Alibaba has teamed up with South Korean electronics giant Samsung for mobile payments services. Sources familiar with the matter told Yonhap News Agency that the deal will be officially announced on Friday, May 20. Alibaba has its own mobile payment service Alipay, which has more than 450 million active users in China.

Samsung Pay customers to use Alipay’s QR codes

Last year, Samsung launched its own online payment platform Samsung Pay in Korea and the US. The service debuted in China in March, just a month after Apple Pay launched in the country. Samsung sees China as a huge potential market, currently dominated by homegrown giants Alipay, Tenpay, and Huawei Pay. The Korean company also plans to take its mobile payment service to Singapore, Australia, Brazil, Spain, and the UK by the end of this year.

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At the time of China launch, Samsung Pay supported debit and credit cards from nine banks, with another six banks planned. Currently, Samsung Pay users can make payments at most of the retail outlets that accept debit cards, credit cards, and membership cards. The tie-up with Alibaba will allow Samsung Pay users to “make payments for their offline purchases using Alipay’s QR codes and barcode scanners.” Samsung Pay has more than five million active users in the United States and South Korea.

Alibaba in talks to become a FIFA sponsor

Separately, Alibaba is in talks to become a top sponsor of FIFA. Sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that the partnership will strengthen ties between FIFA’s top executives and China’s power brokers. Earlier this year, Chinese real-estate giant Dalian Wanda Group committed to global soccer’s governing body at a high level. Several Chinese companies have invested in domestic and international soccer clubs since President Xi Jinping made soccer success a priority.

The sponsorship deal with Alibaba isn’t finalized yet, adds Bloomberg. FIFA has been struggling to attract sponsors amid a corruption scandal that led to charges against many top officials. Sources said that the deal could involve one or more of Alibaba’s subsidiaries.