Stripe Partners With WeChat, Alipay to Access Customers in China

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Credit: Bloomberg News

Stripe unveiled a partnership deal with two of China's biggest digital payment services, giving the San Francisco-based startup access to hundreds of millions of Chinese customers.

Businesses that use Stripe can now accept Alipay and WeChat as payment methods on their websites, according to a statement from Stripe. Stripe provides software that lets businesses accept payments online, and offers tools to help with data security, fraud prevention, accounting, and billing.

"By deepening our existing partnership with Alipay, we're enabling businesses around the world to instantly access the once-impenetrable Chinese consumer market," said John Collison, president and co-founder of Stripe.

Alipay, part of Ant Financial, an Alibaba Group Holding Inc. affiliate, and Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s WeChat Pay, dominate the mobile-payments market in China with a combined 90 percent share. Alipay is used by about half a billion Chinese shoppers. Its mobile wallet is already accepted by more than 100,000 retailers in 70 international markets. The partnership with Stripe will aid Alibaba's efforts to attract more U.S. businesses and feed the Chinese consumer's increasing appetite for foreign goods.

Ant Financial has been expanding abroad, offering $1.2 billion for the U.S. money-transfer service MoneyGram International Inc. Earlier this year, it struck a deal that lets Alipay users shop at 4 million U.S. merchants served by payments processor First Data Corp.

In seven years, Stripe has grown into a global company valued at $9.2 billion. Stripe's first clients were small U.S. technology companies, but now it has users in more than 100 countries, including Asia. It's won over larger enterprises, including Facebook Inc., Target Corp. and Macy's Inc. Part of the money from its latest $150 million round of financing from November was meant to be used to fund faster international growth.

-- Bloomberg News

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