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.
Russian authorities should lift block on WeChat soon to minimize harmful effects / Global Times
The shrill state-owned newspaper, a frequent defender of Chinese internet censorship, calls on Russia to restore access in Russia to WeChat, whose blocking has “triggered wide complaints from Chinese tourists, students and businessmen in Russia, who see WeChat as an essential channel for connecting with people.”
As China’s growth cools, wealth management products boom / Caixin
“Chinese publicly listed firms are increasingly trying to boost their incomes by buying so-called wealth management products (WMPs)…higher-yield, short-term investments typically sold by commercial banks.”
Beijing property agent Lianjia shutters shops amid market cool-down / Caixin (paywall)
“One of China’s largest real estate brokerage firms, Lianjia, has shuttered 87 out of its 1,400 offices in the capital since March, when the Beijing government introduced its latest round of regulatory curbs in a bid to rein in skyrocketing property prices.”
Germany welcomes Chinese investment in financial firms / Reuters
Germany’s top financial watchdog greenlighted the nearly 10 percent share in Deutsche Bank by China’s HNA Group.
Opinion: Think China home prices can’t topple? Think again / Bloomberg
“Property market curbs imposed by authorities are getting stricter, even in smaller, regional cities…down-payment rates are rising and the nation’s banking regulator has instructed trust companies to rein in funding,” Nisha Gopalan writes.
China stocks adored abroad as local investors see losses mount / Bloomberg
“Mainland markets have struggled under the government’s campaign to trim risk in the financial sector, making stocks the least linked to the offshore index since 2006.”
- China toughens auditing of overseas investment by state-owned companies / Xinhua
- China’s financial regulators appear determined to tighten rules further, boost oversight / SCMP