Ant Financial, the Alibaba affiliate that operates payment service Alipay and other digital finance products, has continued its Asia expansion with a move into Hong Kong.
Alipay and Alibaba’s MyBank digital bank dominate in China, where they are used by over 450 million consumers, and this year Ant has broadened its presence with deals in Southeast Asia, Korea and India.
The idea is to recreate the Alipay services stack — digital payments, banking and other financial services — across Asia using partners to ensure that the offerings are tailored to local consumers, plus leaning on the other party’s existing business to boost the businesss.
Now it is turning to Hong Kong through a partnership with telecom giant CK Hutchison. The two will form a joint venture that will operate the ‘AlipayHK’ service which was first introduced to Hong Kong last year.
Beyond helping the digital payment app become more widely accepted in Hong Kong — where it is already covered by 4,000 retailers, the companies said — the joint venture will work to offer additional services, including insurance, loyalty programs, offers and more. The digital payment landscape is already competitive, so going above and beyond the basics is one approach to standing out and attracting users.