Uber Links With Alipay to Capture Chinese Globetrotters

May 3, 2016, 8:09 AM UTC
Uber Technologies Inc. Holds Drivers Recruitment Event
A sign is displayed at an Uber Technologies Inc. office during a driver recruitment event in Hong Kong, China, on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015. Uber is in the process of further padding its war chest with as much as $2.1 billion in a financing round valuing the company at $62.5 billion, people familiar with the matter said this month. Photographer: Justin Chin/Bloomberg
Photograph 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.