Alibaba's Ant Financial has formed a joint venture with telecoms outfit CK Hutchison to take over the running of the Chinese conglomerate's AlipayHK mobile wallet in Hong Kong.
Dedicated to local-currency payments in Hong Kong, AlipayHK attracted over 100,000 active users in the first two weeks after its launch last May. The mobile app is now accepted in over 4000 outlets in Hong Kong.
In combining with CK Hutchison, Ant Financial will tap into the telco's diversified businesses holdings across ports, retail, infrastructure, energy and telecommunications. CK Hutchison currently claims over 124 million retail loyalty members and over 123 million telecom and 35 million utility customers. In Hong Kong, the company has over 600 stores selling telecommunications, food, electronics, wine and health and beauty products serving over 6.6 million customers.
Canning Fok, group co-managing director of CK Hutchison, says of the new JV: "By leveraging CK Hutchison’s extensive market presence and combining its commercial experience with Ant Financial’s technology expertise, we will bring great benefits not only to our telecom, retail, and other customers of the Group, but also to all businesses in Hong Kong. This will, in turn, create greater shareholder value."
The joint venture is expected to be completed by the end of 2017, subject to regulatory approval.