Alipay Buys Up More Of China’s Nascent Online Payments Market

The Chinese online payments provider in which Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) holds an indirect interest is buying itself a greater slice of that growing market, after the country recently liberalised the opportunity.

Alipay is acquiring Australian loyalty card and payment platform provider OnCard‘s Chinese business, BillToBill

The sale is effectively forced. China’s central bank recently allowed 27 third party Chinese companies other than banks to gain licenses for becoming payment providers, but it has not yet allowed overseas companies to do the same. So OnCard enlisted UBS in January to consider its options for the BillToBill unit, which it only acquired back in February 2010.

The sale to Alipay comes with an unspecified price tag.

Yahoo recently complained that Alibaba Group, of which it owns 40 percent, tried to divest Alipay under its nose to a company controlled by Alibaba Group CEO Jack Ma. The kerfuffle was ironed out when all three sides agreed to the divestment conditional on Alibaba Group taking 49.9 percent of Alipay’s profits and between $2 billion and $6 billion of any eventual Alipay IPO.