Alipay to reach 4 million merchants in the U.S. – China business and technology news from May 10, 2017

Business & Technology

A summary of today’s top news in Chinese business and technology. Part of the daily SupChina news roundup "Strong in furniture, very weak in outdoor gear."

A clerk counts Chinese yuan and U.S. dollar banknotes at a branch of Bank of China in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, China, January 4, 2016. REUTERS/Jon Woo

Earlier this week, SupChina noted that both Alipay and WeChat, popular mobile apps that make payments extraordinarily easy in China, had partnered with Silicon Valley startup Citcon to bring their payment platforms to the U.S. Yet on May 8, Alipay made a far more important partnership with Atlanta-based payments processor First Data. This partnership will bring Alipay to 4 million merchants in the U.S., only half a million shy of Apple Pay, Quartz reports. With the numbers of Chinese visiting the U.S. every year skyrocketing, from 2.6 million in 2015 to an expected 6 million in 2021, Alipay’s rival app WeChat has some catching up to do.

So does the U.S., in terms of mobile payments adoption, where it lags behind China. However, a Bloomberg columnist points out that the proportion of customers using mobile platforms to settle transactions is rising faster in the U.S. than in China, and both countries are expected to reach 23 percent adoption in 2018. Alipay’s newest partnership may help speed along U.S. adoption.