// After receiving a licence in Luxembourg it can now operate across Europe
// Luxembourg says deal would strengthen relationship between EU & China
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Alibaba’s payments arm Alipay, the largest payment service on the planet, is due to expand its presence in mainland Europe after securing a licence in Luxembourg.
Luxembourg’s finance minister Pierre Gramegna confirmed via Twitter during an official visit to Hong Kong that Alipay has secured a licence for electronic payments in the country, adding that the move would strengthen ties between Europe and China.
Alipay will also have a European passport, enabling it to operate freely within the EU.
Alipay already has a licence in the UK and has been adopted by numerous retailers.
It boasts 1 billion users worldwide, around 700 million of which are thought to be Chinese, and overtook Paypal as the world’s largest online payments provider in 2013.
The service offers users access to a digital wallet via a smartphone app, and QR code payments are used to pay for items in-store.
Other services range from bank account management, bus and train tickets purchases, credit card bill payments and insurance selection.