Chinese authorities have given third-party online payment platform Alipay permission to process payments from companies and traders buying and selling investment funds on the internet.
The information was published by Reuters in an article that cites two unidentified and unauthorised sources that have “direct knowledge of the matter”.
Alipay – a unit of Alibaba Group, which is 40% owned by Yahoo – should receive a licence from China Securities Regulatory Commission on 11 May, according to one of sources.
Alibaba’s payment arm will now be able to enter a market that today is dominated by companies such as UnionPay and ChinaPnP, “potentially helping to boost trading volumes in Chinese funds”, according to Reuters.
“We have filed our application with the CSRC to conduct online payment services for funds, and we look forward to the CSRC’s decision,” Alibaba said in an email on Thursday.
Alipay has more than 650m individuals and corporate registered users, and controls about 68% of the Chinese market.
Alibaba Group, founded by one of China’s best-known entrepreneurs Jack Ma, is the parent of Alibaba.com, the country’s largest e-commerce company and Taobao Mall, the largest Chinese online shopping mall.