Wal-Mart + Alibaba = Nuclear Fusion

Wal-Mart to accept Alipay in a bid for growth in China
Wal-Mart Stores WMT -0.21% is teaming up with Alibaba BABA -0.65% to roll out the Alipay mobile payment service in China — its latest move to increase sales in a tough, but potentially lucrative international market.

Ant Financial, a financial affiliate of Alibaba, said on Wednesday that the partnership with the world’s biggest retailer would start with 25 stores in Shenzen, including one of its Sam’s Club locations, and be accepted at all 410 Wal-Mart stores in China by the end of the year.

The tie-up with China’s leading e-commerce company comes as Wal-Mart looks to dramatically improve its performance in the world’s most populous country. Last quarter, Wal-Mart’s net sales fell 0.7%, while comparable sales, which strip out the effect of newly opened or closed stores, were down 2.3%. Wal-Mart has grappled with the perception in China that its prices are not the lowest, among other challenges.

Yu Fenghui dubs the link-up "nuclear fusion:" 沃尔玛与支付宝要发生“核聚变”. He says this opens the door for Wal-Mart eventually using Alipay in all of its stores around the world and, if Apple Pay doesn't cooperate with Alipay in China, the Wal-Mart deal puts Alipay one step ahead of Apple.

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