Alipay To Purchase Stake In Asset Manager

Strengthens Chinese Financial Services Operations Of Alibaba

AlibabaChina-based Alipay, which is controlled by Zhejiang Alibaba E-Commerce Co. and Alibaba Group, has agreed to buy a majority stake in Tianhong Asset Management Co. for 1.18 billion yuan ($192.8 million). The deal will strengthen the Chinese financial services operations of Alibaba, which is poised to file an initial public offering in New York.

Prior to the agreement, Tianhong and Alipay already had a working partnership, as the pair launched a fund and payment platform called Yu E Bao in June. In less than three weeks, the fund attracted more than 2.5 million customers, raising 6.6 billion yuan ($1.08 billion), according to Tianhong.

"In order to give investors in Yu E Bao more security, improve innovation and provide more products and services, we have chosen to cooperate with Tianhong Asset Management," Alipay said on its microblog.

Currently, Alipay is China's largest third-party payment platform, with 800 million registered accounts. Alipay formally broke away from Alibaba Group in 2011, although Counselor Power 50 member Jack Ma remains the controlling influence for the online payment services firm.