China's Alibaba embarks on $732m upgrade of online payments network

China's Alibaba embarks on $732m upgrade of online payments network

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has pledged Yn5 billion ($732 million) over the next five years to upgrade its online payments network Alipay.

Alibaba, which founded Alipay in 2004, says the money will be used to improve the e-payment platform's infrastructure security, make it more user-friendly, hire staff and build its customer base and merchant network.

Resources are committed to online safety and security, risk and data management, and innovation in new technology areas such as mobile payments.

Lucy Peng, CEO, Alipay, says: "Online payment will continue to play an ever-growing and significant role in the development of e-commerce as well as the stimulation of consumer demand. Consumers expect a safe, convenient and affordable globalised payment platform. That's what we have offered since the creation of Alipay and with this investment we aim to continue playing a fundamental role in the ongoing development of e-commerce in China and around the world."

While Alipay moves to grab a larger slice of the international e-payments market it is also facing increasing competition at home. Last month PayPal inked a deal with China UnionPay to allow card members to use PayPal to shop online, opening up 2.1 billion cards to international retailers.

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