SourceAlibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s finance arm, Ant Financial Services has acquired 25% stake in One97 Communications Ltd (Paytm).
Ant, which runs the Alipay online payment platform, will provide Paytm with strategic and technical support for its business.
Paytm will use the fund to grow its userbase (it already has 23 million wallet users in India). Paytm is also applying for the Payments Bank license.
Ant Financial and Paytm will also build on synergies in the mobile wallet front in order to offer Indian consumers comprehensive product and services and to tap the significant potential of the India mobile payment market.
“With over 1 billion people, India’s payments market has vast untapped potential,” said Cyril Han, Vice President of Ant Financial. “As smartphone use continues to rise in India, we see great opportunity in the mobile wallet space and Paytm, as a leader in this field, is best equipped to build a mobile payments ecosystem in the country,” Han said.
“We are pleased to partner with Ant Financial in India. I believe that together, we will change the landscape of mobile payments and commerce in our country.” said Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder & CEO of One97 and Paytm.
Hah. To be honest... If the same factory is producing branded products and is also selling the exact same product without the brand at 10% of the price of the branded product... How that that product be any inferior?Alibaba’s Jack Ma stepped into a firestorm on Tuesday with a comment that fakes were sometimes better quality than originals.
“The problem is the fake products today are of better quality and better price than the real names,” he said at Alibaba’s investor day in Hangzhou. “They are exactly the same factories, exactly the same raw materials but they do not use the names.”
Mr. Ma’s comments caused social-media outrage among some who felt he was dodging responsibility for the longstanding presence of counterfeit goods on Alibaba’s online bazaar Taobao. Luxury brands have long criticized Alibaba for not doing more to crack down on fakes and even today, it isn’t difficult to find cheap, fake goods on the website.
The comments come as Alibaba is facing a mounting controversy over counterfeit merchandise on its websites. Last month, a prominent group, the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition, suspended a newly created category under which Alibaba was admitted, after U.S. fashion brand Michael Kors and Gucci America Inc. withdrew in protest. Michael Kors called Alibaba “our most dangerous and damaging adversary” in a letter to the coalition.