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This article was published on April 18, 2014

Rakuten links up with Alibaba’s Alipay payment service to increase its focus on China

Rakuten links up with Alibaba’s Alipay payment service to increase its focus on China Image by: AFP/Getty Images
Jon Russell
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Jon Russell

Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.

Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten is increasing its focus on China after it announced a partnership with Alipay, the Alibaba-affiliated payment platform, to make it easier for shoppers in China to buy goods from its global site.

Rakuten Global Market, the international branch of Rakuten’s domestic Ichiba marketplace service, has now added Alipay to its payment options. Parent firm Alibaba is China’s dominant online retail firm, but Rakuten’s service offers access to goods from retailers in Japan and other countries.

Right now, 10,000 of the 42,000 ‘shops’ listed on Rakuten Ichiba sell goods internationally. An initial 250 will support payment via Alipay, but Rakuten plans to increase that over time in response to the “rapid” growth that it is seeing in China.

Alipay is working to expand its presence into services outside of China, and it inked a number of overseas partnerships in January.

Our recent interview: Rakuten to make Viber ‘more successful’ before integrating the app into its e-commerce business

Thumbnail image via KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images