PayPal has formed a partnership with Chinese tech giant Baidu in a drive to compete in the world’s biggest mobile payments market, which is dominated by domestic titans Ant Financial and Tencent, the Financial Times reports. The partnership, announced on Thursday morning, allows Baidu Wallet users to make online purchases outside China by linking their Baidu Wallets to PayPal. Foreign merchants that accept PayPal will automatically accept Baidu Wallet as a result. However, the two providers lag far behind Alipay, the online payment app offered by Alibaba’s affiliate Ant Financial, as well as WeChat Pay, which is integrated into Tencent’s social messaging “killer app” WeChat. “Alipay and WeChat Pay are unshakeably dominating the Chinese payment market, while Baidu’s status has been a little awkward,” said Xue Yu, an analyst at IDC. All these companies are in fierce competition for the ballooning payment flows generated by the 20m Chinese middle-class consumers who have taken to shopping overseas on their mobiles.
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