Ant Financial Services Group, is expanding overseas. The financial affiliate of Chinese online-shopping giant Alibaba is forging partnerships in the US, Europe and Asia, building a global network of merchants that accept its payment services, according to The Wall Street Journal. On Tuesday, it is set to announce a tie-up with the online-payments arm of Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group, people familiar with the situation said. For now, those overseas services are aimed at a surging number of Chinese tourists who use Ant Financial’s Alipay mobile-payments application at home. But by distributing its technology platform to retailers world-wide, Ant is laying the groundwork for what could eventually be a challenge to Visa and MasterCard. Alipay was created in 2004 to support transactions on Alibaba’s Taobao online-shopping site.
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