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Alibaba acquires China Union Pay in $100 billion deal

I was amazed to see the news this morning that Alibaba, the Chinese equivalent of eBay and PayPal, has acquired China Union Pay.

This is fantastical news and builds upon the recent announcement that Alibaba will get into banking.

From Breaking Views:

Alibaba isn’t a bank.  But for customers it’s getting hard to tell the difference.  Users of China’s dominant e-commerce website can now deposit funds, make investments, take out loans and even give out gifts of virtual cash.  In taking on China’s lenders, Alibaba and its online rivals may be taking on bank-like risk.

From The Australian:

If it took Apple seven years to become the world’s biggest music retailer, Google 18 months to grab 85 per cent of the global GPS market and less than three years for Alibaba to become a $US16bn ($17.7bn) lender, then how long will it take for the banking oligopoly to find its lunch is eaten and digested.

From Bloomberg:

It has been labeled a “blood-sucking vampire” by a prominent commentator on state-run television. Executives at China’s largest banks have called for regulators to curb its rapid expansion.  The focus of this ire is Internet financing, specifically Yu’E Bao, the fund pioneered nine months ago by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s online-payment affiliate Alipay. Its ease of use, involving a few taps on a smartphone, has drawn deposits from 81 million customers, more than the population of Germany, as they chase returns higher than China’s banks can offer. The total exceeded 500 billion yuan ($80 billion) as of Feb. 28, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

The news this morning that it has acquired China Union Pay for a mix of cash and share options worth 600 billion yuan ($100 billion) comes as no surprise and should send a shudder through all banking markets as it sets the lead for eBay, Apple, Amazon and others to follow.

Watch this space. 



Postnote: this was our April Fool this year but, ya never know, it could happen and, by the number of tweets, I'm guessing some of us believe it will!

About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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  • Great story!
    But seriously – what are they going to spend all that IPO cash on?