What happened: Alipay is making inroads in overseas markets despite being locked in a trade war with the US. The mobile payment giant has tripled the number of merchants in Europe accepting its service to “tens of thousands” in the past year, according to Roland Palmer, head of Europe at Alipay. Palmer dismissed concerns that trade war is weakening the growth of its overseas business, saying that the company is tapping into opportunities brought by Chinese tourists in Europe.
Why it’s important: Ant Financial, Alipay’s operator, has been expanding its business outside of China over the past few years. As its expansion in the US is hitting bumps amid trade tensions, the Chinese fintech giant has been focusing on markets in Europe as well as other parts of Asia. Last year, the US rejected Ant Financial’s acquisition of money transfer company MoneyGram over national security concerns. However, after its acquisition plan fell through in the US, Ant Financial successfully acquired UK-based payments company earlier this year.