It seems there are more troubles than getting government licence for Alipay.

360buy, the largest B2C company in China, was first rumored to have stopped using Alipay for its transactions in early May.  Some market analysts suspected as 360Buy and Alibaba’s Taobao are potential competitors, there might be a conflict of interest for 360buy to use Alibaba’s payment solution.  (Alibaba, and hence Taobao, would know what are selling well on 360buy.)  However, both sides have denied that.

Anyway, the debit card offered by Bailian Group, which own the Hualian Supermarket chain in China, has definitely stopped cooperating with Alipay.  In the past, users of the debit card could transfer money from the card to their account in Alipay.  And they could do it in Hualian Supermarkets.  Now, it is no longer possible.

First 360Buy and Hualian Supermarkets, now mired with Chinese banks

Another threat comes from Alipay’s partners – the Chinese banks.  They are all making in-roads to offer their own online payment solution. ChinaUnion Pay, which is backed by the Chinese banks, has also applied for the government licence for third party online payment.

But, Alipay is not giving up its position as China’s largest online payment platform easily.  It is working with UCweb, the dominant web browser for mobile phones in China, to implement mobile payment.

Currently, Alipay works with 81 financial institutions and over 460,000 different merchants.

Author of Red Wired: China's Internet Revolution, the first book to completely survey the nature of China's internet. ( She previously was the lead China technology reporter...

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