China’s Ant Financial Boost Presence in SEA with helloPay Deal

Alibaba’s Ant Financial has acquired Singapore-based payment service helloPay Group, part of the Chinese firm’s drive to boost its Alipay brand and presence in Southeast Asia.

Lazada’s helloPay is majority owned by Alibaba, after a $1 billion deal in 2016; it will be re-branded as Alipay in relevant markets, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

The re-branded service will remain independent of Alipay’s existing app, which has 450 million users in China. Ant did not disclose financial terms of the helloPay deal.

In recent months Ant Financial has invested in many areas within South East Asia, but helloPay is the firm’s first time re-branding an acquisition under the Alipay name.

Last week Ant announced a tie-up with Indonesia’s Elang Mahkota Teknologi (Emtek) to roll out a mobile payments service. Earlier this year Ant confirmed it will make a strategic investment in Filipino payment firm Mynt.

This week, Ant also made a second bid for U.S. transfer service MoneyGram International, trumping rival U.S. bidder Euronet Worldwide; valuing MoneyGram at $1.2 billion.

Alibaba holds approximately two-thirds of Lazada.

helloPay, which was launched in 2014 by Lazada as a payments service for its e-commerce platform, will operate under the Alipay brand fro
m April 19.

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