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Uber Links With Alipay to Capture Chinese Globetrotters

Uber Technologies Inc. Holds Drivers Recruitment EventUber Technologies Inc. Holds Drivers Recruitment Event
An Uber recruiting event in Hong Kong in DecemberPhotograph by Justin Chin — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Uber’s announcement today that is will allow Alipay’s 450 million Chinese clients to use the online payment service to pay for rides in all of Uber’s markets is what’s known as shuang ying, win-win, in Chinese.

Uber integrates itself further into its most important market, China, where it commands around 30% market share but is trailing hometown favorite Didi Kuaidi and losing $1 billion annually. The deal offers Chinese customers a seamless way to pay for rides when they travel outside China to one of the over 400 cities in which Uber operates. Before, they needed to add a dual-currency credit card for payments outside the country.

And Alipay, an offshoot of Alibaba, builds upon its hopes of becoming a global player in electronic payments before an expected initial public offering later this year. As part of the deal, Alipay’s electronics payments partner in India, Paytm, will also be accepted by Uber.

Uber was already linked to Alipay inside China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. As before, Alipay will earn a small percentage of each transaction it processes for Uber, The Wall Street Journal noted.