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Alibaba taps India's start-up scene

Chinese ecommerce group Alibaba is in advanced talks take a $500m stake in One97 Communications, the parent company of leading Indian mobile payment platform Paytm, India's biggest mobile payments company by market share. Both Alibaba Group Holding's ecommerce arm and its online payments unit Alipay are set to participate in the transaction, which is expected to be completed by the end of January. Paytm allows Indian phone users to put funds in a mobile wallet, which they can spend on services such as taxi app Uber and cinema service BookMyShow. It claims to have about 20m users. The business also launched an online marketplace last year, similar to Alipay. Analysts at CLSA expect Paytm will use the fresh funds to invest in infrastructure helping thousands of smaller Indian businesses to use their mobile marketplace, grabbing more of an ecommerce sector that will be worth $44bn by 2018.

 

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