Ben Cavender

Alibaba’s Ant Financial investment of US$200 million into the Korean mobile payment service Kakao Pay illustrates how the leading Chinese payment platform want to gain global dominance, says business analyst Ben Cavender to Reuters. Buying into strong local players is smarter than competing with them.


Ant is currently looking to raise as much as $3 billion in debt to fund acquisitions and further foreign investments, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters earlier this month.

“Ant’s ultimate goal is to become a global payments monster – the biggest, broadest option for consumers,” said Ben Cavender, Shanghai-based principle for China Market Research.

“The challenge is facing strong local players around the world, so it’s cheaper to buy into these companies rather than burning money to steal market share from them.”

Kakao, best known for its online messaging platform Kakao Talk, has in total over 48 million users. Its Kakao Pay unit is a financial services platform which offers services such as bill payment and remittance.

More at Reuters.

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