Stripe opens up China: E-commerce deals struck with Alipay and WeChat Pay

10 Jul 2017

Image: T.Dallas/Shutterstock

New Stripe deal will open 1bn Chinese consumers to a world of business.

Businesses around the world will now be able to accept payments from hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers as a result of a deal struck between Stripe and payment platforms Alipay and WeChat Pay.

Mobile commerce accounts for 71pc of Chinese e-commerce, with transactions worth $750m in 2016.

‘Whether in the eastern or western hemisphere, we’re focused on arming more businesses with the tools and infrastructure they need to thrive in the modern economy’

The market is dominated by Alipay and WeChat Pay, which between them hold 92pc market share and have more than 1bn users.

However, up until now, the majority of businesses outside China could not access this market because they couldn’t accept the payment methods preferred by Chinese punters.

Global cashless society

For the first time, businesses will be able to activate both Alipay and WeChat Pay on their Stripe dashboards and accept payments from either platform, with euro arriving in their bank accounts.

The Alipay integration will support both one-time and recurring payments, which will be a boon for SaaS and subscription platforms. Once-off payments will generally be available to Stripe users globally while recurring payments and WeChat support will be in private beta.

“In our aim to get to a global cashless society, Alipay has evolved from a digital wallet into a global lifestyle enabler for Chinese consumers and travellers far beyond Chinese borders,” said Souheil Badran, president of Alipay for North America.

“We’re excited to strengthen our partnership with Stripe to connect globally minded Chinese consumers with hundreds of thousands of Stripe-powered businesses around the world.”

Stripe estimates that a quarter of China’s population (amounting to more than half of all digital buyers) will be shopping either directly on foreign-based sites or through third parties by 2020.

John Collison, president and co-founder of Stripe, said: “Stripe aims to build a unified infrastructure for the internet economy.

“By deepening our existing partnership with Alipay, and launching a new partnership with WeChat Pay, we’re enabling businesses to easily access the once-impenetrable Chinese market, and in the manner Chinese consumers prefer.

“Whether in the eastern or western hemisphere, we’re focused on arming more businesses with the tools and infrastructure they need to thrive in the modern economy.”

Stripe was founded six years ago by brothers John and Patrick Collison. The company’s technology platform enables hundreds of thousands of businesses to securely accept payments and create new revenue streams.

Stripe was recently valued at $9bn after it raised $150m in a round led by CapitalG and General Catalyst, in addition to existing investors such as Sequoia Capital.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years