Alipay Offers U.S. E-Commerce Merchants Easy Entry into China
Oct. 20, 2014
Alipay, the Chinese online payment provider affiliated with e-commerce giant Alibaba, has launched a one-stop shop for U.S. merchants that want to sell in China. The solution, Alipay epass, offers retailers the ability to accept Alipay, the most popular online payment method in China, along with marketing and logistics services that leverage the company’s knowledge of the local market and its ties with Alibaba. The company said epass also addresses cross-border issues like currency exchange and customs that, even in other countries that share closer cultural and linguistic ties with the U.S., can be complex for e-commerce merchants.
“We want to demystify the Chinese consumer for U.S. retailers,” said Jingming Li, president and chief architect of Alipay U.S. For the moment, that Chinese consumer will have to speak English. But, potentially, U.S. retailers interested in China will have access to an estimated 500 million Chinese online shoppers who spent $298 billion online in 2013.
Several high-profile U.S. online retailers have been piloting the service, including Gilt.com, Airbnb and Uber. Alipay would charge merchants a percentage of each transaction it processes, but the company did not disclose how much that would be during its press conference.