Tencent Holdings and Mastercard were two of several companies that have invested $13 million in an Australian startup that enables cross-border e-commerce. Published reports in China have characterized Tencent’s financial stake in Airwallex as a sign that the company intends to take messaging platform WeChat and its online payment capability WeChat Pay international.
“Tencent, the fourth largest Internet company in the world behind Amazon, Google and Facebook, ” Airwallex said in its announcement, “has a vested interest in cross-border payments as one of the largest mobile payment providers in the world through its popular social media app, WeChat.”
Tencent’s WeChat and its other social media platform QQ (which also enables payments though QQ Wallet) each have in excess of 865 million users. The investment in a cross-border online payment provider could open those platforms and users to merchants around the world.
“The continued growth of international trade and the global economy rely on efficient cross-border transactions,” said Airwallex Co-Founder and CEO, Jack Zhang. “Our mission is to eradicate the burden of international payments so that businesses can transact across borders with ease. Armed with a growing number of financial services licenses and partnerships across numerous jurisdictions, we aim to make international payments as cheap and simple as domestic payments.”
- Cross-Border E-Commerce in Emerging Markets
- Cross-Border E-Commerce in Established Markets