PayPal Challenge Alipay

The partnership will give customers of China UnionPay, a national electronic-payment network, the ability to make Internet purchases from Web sites overseas, said EBay.

PayPal, the world?s largest online-payments processor besides credit-card companies such as Visa Inc., is fighting to establish itself in China, a market with almost 400 million Internet users. Alipay, a unit of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., has 300 million users, three times as many as PayPal in China.

PayPal also said Wednesday it will double its workforce in the Asia-Pacific region to 2,000 by the end of 2010.

Internet transactions through services such as Alipay more than doubled to 576.6 billion yuan ($84.5 billion) last year and will reach 2.75 trillion yuan in 2013, according to Beijing-based research firm IResearch. Alipay controlled about 50 percent of the market in 2009, compared with about 21 percent for nearest rival Tenpay, offered by Internet company Tencent Holdings Ltd., IResearch said.

China UnionPay, based in Shanghai, was established in 2002 and operates the inter-bank clearing and settlement system in China.

Before today, PayPal offered Chinese consumers and businesses two types of accounts: one that allowed domestic transactions in yuan and a second that permitted purchases abroad through dual-currency credit cards. The new program allows customers with a UnionPay credit or debit card to make overseas purchases.

Source : Konaxis

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