One of China’s largest online retailers, 360Buy, is on the brink of acquiring the third-party payment service provider Chinabank Payments, according to reports.
Marbridge Daily, an online newsletter managed by the firm Marbridge Consulting, has reported that a recent filing submitted to China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce is showing a clear change in Chinabank Payments’ legal representative.
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Liu Qiangdong, CEO of 360Buy, is understood to be the new legal representative, replacing Zhao Guodong, CEO of Chinabank Payments, who was previously listed.
The move is an indication that 360Buy has either acquired, or is looking to acquire, the firm and its payment platform.
The report by Marbridge Daily includes information from an anonymous source believed to be working for 360Buy, who said that the company is currently developing a new third-party payment platform. He also revealed that the platform would launch “soon” provided that “all goes according to plan”.
Another anonymous source from inside the company has said that the current payment platform offered by Chinabank Payments is already being linked up with 360Buy’s existing offering. The source later added that Guodong is now attending senior management meetings at the online retail giant.
The price that 360Buy has paid, or is looking to pay, for Chinabank Payments is currently unknown. However, an industry source reportedly told Marbridge Daily that the acquistion price was “not at all low”.
Chinabank Payments, a limited liability company, has RMB 100.5 million in registered capital and received its online payment license, which is needed to be able to provide remittance, online and mobile payments, as well as bank card utility bill payments in Beijing, back in June.
Marbridge Daily reported as rumour that 360Buy was interested in acquiring Chinabank Payments back in September, however Guodong was quick to deny almost all of the speculation.
The Chinabank Payments CEO confirmed that his company and 360Buy had been in discussions, but emphasised that it was not acquisition-related. According to reports, Guodong said that 360Buy had contacted other third-party payment providers, such as 99Bill and ChinaPnR, earlier this year about possible acquisitions, but they eventually fell apart.
More recently, 360Buy has been in the news because of its attempts to expand into markets outside of China. Earlier this month the company launched an English version of its store, with delivery available to 36 countries including the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, France and Germany.
360Buy currently offers more than 400,000 products including Chinese-laguage books, consumer electronics and apparel. The international expansion means it’s now going head-to-head with Amazon, who has long pioneered and dominated the online retail ‘superstore’ model.
The addition of Chinabank Payments would certainly add to 360Buy’s offering, and just maybe ruffle a few feathers over at the Kindle-selling giant.