Chinese Alipay makes inroads into Pakistan with Rs20bln investment plan
Ant Financial Services Group, an affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, on Tuesday agreed to acquire 45 percent stake worth around Rs20 billion in a subsidiary of Norwegian Telenor to broaden access to financial services through digital payment solutions in Pakistan.
“Telenor Group has reached a strategic partnership agreement with Ant Financial Services Group in Pakistan, where Ant Financial will invest $184.5m for a 45 percent stake in Telenor Microfinance Bank (TMB), a subsidiary of Telenor Group, to further develop TMB’s mobile payment and digital financial services,” a statement said.
“The strategic partnership… combines TMB’s knowledge and local market presence with more than 20 million customers, and Ant’s technology in Alipay, the world’s largest digital payment platform, and other financial services, to bring mobile payment and inclusive financial services to individuals as well as small and micro businesses in Pakistan.”
Completion of the transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals.
Ecommerce players are also seeing the entry of a global leading online and mobile payment platform as a good omen for the market where 90 percent of online orders of Rs9.8 billion were still fulfilled using cash-on-delivery (COD) in the past fiscal year.
“It is a fantastic input,” Adam Dawood, head of online shopping site
, a part of Karachi-based courier service firm TCS said, referring to Alipay’s entry.
“It shows strength of market opportunities and that Pakistan is moving towards cashless economy,” said Dawood whose Yayvo boasts of 150,000 listings, while 40 percent of its orders are pre-payment.
In China, over 40 million brick-and-mortar merchants now accept Alipay. Overseas, Alipay now covers 40 countries and regions to provide more diversified services for Chinese travelling overseas.
Ali Zain Sheikh, a former country director of another ecommerce portal Daraz.pk said local players have already developed ecosystem and there is a tremendous potential in the country’s digital payment system.
“Looking at their (Alipay) history, they will likely create impact and leverage their resources to develop the market,” Sheikh added.
A World Bank’s estimate said almost half of the country’s 208 million populations are unbanked.
Sigve Brekke, chief executive officer of Telenor Group said partnering with a world leading payment provider like Ant Financial will strengthen Telenor Microfinance Bank’s future payment platform and set new standards in the digital banking business in Pakistan.
“The establishment of this partnership is well in-line with the expressed Telenor strategy of focusing our financial services efforts in emerging markets, making sure that we’re able to build and modernise the businesses in line with customer needs,” Brekke said in the statement.
Eric Jing, chief executive officer of Ant Financial said Alipay’s technologies make it uniquely placed to achieve its mission of bringing the world equal opportunities.
“Today, we are very happy to share our technology knowhow with Telenor Microfinance Bank to bring improved user experience on the Easypaisa mobile payment platform, as well as provide inclusive financial services in a transparent, safe, low cost and efficient way to the unbanked and underbanked population in Pakistan,” Jing added.
Master Motors Showed Changan CX70 SUV at ITIF- Launch Expected in 2018.....
CX70_01. Price of CX70 SUV is rumoured around PKR 2.5 Million
The 2018 ITIF Asia is currently being held in Karachi, the trade fair started from 13th March and will end on 15th March 2018. This is already the 16th time, Karachi is hosting this event. ITIF Asia is an international trade and industry trade fair that provides a marketplace where local and international manufacturers can showcase their latest products in technology and design, establish new contacts, renew old ties and exchange ideas.
At this year’s event, several automakers showed their vehicles which they intend to launch in Pakistan in near future. Among these was the Changan CX70 SUV displayed by Master Motors, the authorized assembler/ manufacturer in Pakistan for leading Commercial Vehicles from China including Yeujin & Foton, who will now also sell Changan branded commercial vehicles in Pakistan.
Changan CX70 at ITIF 2018
The CX70 SUV is actually produced by the commercial vehicle unit of Changan in China because of which it bears the “Chana” logo which is different from the emblem seen on other Changan SUVs. And if you are thinking that the CX70 has a striking resemblance with the Ford Explorer, do keep in mind that Ford is a joint venture partner of Changan in China!
The Changan CX70 is a proper 7 seater SUV with front engine & rear wheel drive configuration and offers quite a generous space for occupants inside. It is powered by a turbocharged 1.5 liter unit that churns out an impressive 110kw (148hp) of power at 5500rpm and 230Nm of torque at 2000-4000 rpm. Fuel economy is rated at 7.6 liters per 100 km (13.2 km/ liter). The engine is mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed Aisin automatic gearbox.
Measuring 4705x1800x1775mm it is slightly smaller than the Toyota Fortuner (4795x1855x1835mm), but has a bigger wheelbase of 2780mm compared to 2745mm of Fortuner.
It comes packed with goodies such as dual-tone interior, 11″ control screen, multifunction leather steering wheel, power retractable rearview mirrors, electrically adjustable driver seat, automatic air-conditioning, cruise control, keyless entry system, power sunroof, GPS integration, TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System), 6-point parking sensors (270 degrees), electronic stability program (ESP), traction control system (TCS), hill-hold control (HHC), reversing camera with panoramic monitoring, Airbags, ABS with EBD etc.
According to information, Master Motors plans to launch the CX70 within 6 months (from now) as trial & tests has already been carried out. It is however yet to be seen if the vehicle will be imported (likely) from China of will be assembled locally. Official prices are yet to be disclosed but it’s rumored to be around PKR 2.5 million.
"Bilateral trade could be increased through joint efforts and close contacts between businessmen of the two sides, he suggested during a visit to the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI)."
"Private equity has always played a pivotal role in the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) globally by providing not only capital but also operational expertise, managerial bandwidth, leadership and vision."
Second phase of Pak-China FTA to be signed by mid-March...
"Second phase of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Pakistan and China would be signed by the mid of coming March to increase the trade between two countries. During next month, the Chinese vice-minister will visit Islamabad along with his delegation for signing the amended FTA between Pakistan and China, a senior official of Ministry."
was depressing due to terror attacks, power outages & defaulting economy. After operation against terrorism (Zarb-e-Azb) by security forces, people of Pakistan have bounced back & today Pak ranks top among SAARC countries on Happiness Index.