Alipay Partnering with London-based Mobility Start-up Splyt

Chinese tourists can hail taxis globally through the Alipay mini program.

Author: Binwei Wang   

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) announced that it mobile payment platform Alipay is partnering with London-based mobility start-up Splyt Technologies.

The deal will give hundreds of millions of Alipay users access to a global ride-hailing inventory via its in-app mobility marketplace mini program. It's the first integration of its kind by a global digital payment platform.

Chinese tourists can use the Alipay to hail taxis quickly and easily from local mobility-service providers without having to install a separate app while traveling abroad.

Although it is relatively unknown outside of China, Alipay is one of the world's most-powerful mobile payment platforms and one of the most widely used payment platforms in China with over 700 million active users.

Most people in China use either Alipay, owned by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial, or WeChat Pay, run by Tencent Holdings Ltd. (HKEX: 0700), for paying for just about everything, including meals, clothing, rent, bills and taxis.

"This brand-new taxi hailing mini program makes it possible to search, book and pay for taxi rides in our users' native currency. Partnering with Splyt gives us unparalleled access to a roster of transport providers across the world that will make getting around when traveling easier than ever before." said  Kiki Wu, director of business development and cross-border business at Alipay.

The Splyt platform currently has 1.5 billion users in over 50 countries. The company is the world's largest B2B mobility marketplace, connecting supply and demand for ground-based transportation. It will give Alipay users access to Splyt's network of transport partners in over 1,000 cities.

"With the number of Chinese tourists growing every year, the strength of our platform will ease and support tourism in some of the fastest growing commercial corridors worldwide. As a London-based company, this is also a testament to the UK tech industry, and our ability to reach a global mobility market," said by Philipp Mintchin, Splyt's chief executive officer.

The Alipay platform helps merchant partners by enhancing the experience for Alipay users to acquire customers and operate more efficiently. Alipay also provide merchants with comprehensive set of services, including payment, marketing, and risk management.

Shares of Alibaba were down 1.6 percent on Wednesday, closing at $160.04.