Alibaba-affiliate Alipay enters online payment service partnership with Sina

By VCPOST Staff Reporter

Jan 07, 2014 05:59 AM EST

Hangzhou-based Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd.'s online payment affiliate struck a deal with Chinese online media company Sina Corp. to launch an online payment service. The move was made as competition tightens between the e-commerce company and rival Tencent Holdings Ltd.

According to Wall Street Journal, Alibaba affiliate Alipay said that the new service allows users of Sina's Weibo microblog service to make online and offline payments through their Alipay accounts.

The deal follows Alibaba's deal last yearto acqure an 18% stake in Weibo from Sina for $586 million, the report said.

Alibaba is China's largest e-commerce company by sales volume. It has branched out in recent months into social media with its Weibo investment and into financial services by offering money-market-like investment products to savers, WSJ said.

Alipay's parent company is controlled by Alibaba chairman Jack Ma, but the online payment firm isn't part of the main e-commerce company. Alibaba is exploring an initial public offering in the US or Hong Kong, the report said. 

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