Caixin
Nov 23, 2021 04:29 AM
FINANCE

Bilibili Acquires Online Payment License in $18.5 Million Deal

What’s new: Chinese video platform Bilibili obtained an online payment license after acquiring a majority stake in an online payment company, moving it a step closer to launching its own e-payment service for more than 200 million users.

Bilibili acquired a 65.5% stake in Zhejiang Yongyi Payment Co. Ltd. for 118 million ($18.5 million) from the online payment firm’s state-owned shareholders, according to information on the website of the Ningbo Public Resources Trading Center.

Yongyi is one of more than 200 Chinese companies that hold third-party online payment licenses issued by China’s central bank. Bilibili will start an internal test of the payment system with livestreaming e-retailers on its platform, an insider from the company told Caixin.

The background: As livestreaming becomes a booming force in Chinese e-commerce, video platforms have started to acquire online payment licenses to build closed-loop e-commerce businesses.

In January, TikTok-owner ByteDance Ltd. launched its own digital payment platform, Douyin Pay, putting itself in direct competition with Alipay and WeChat Pay. Last year, ByteDance acquired Wuhan Hezhong Epro Technology Co. Ltd. and its coveted online payment license.

In August 2020, Douyin’s rival Kuaishou acquired online payment firm Easylink Payment Co. Ltd., also known as Payeco, for about 300 million yuan in cash and an undisclosed amount of Kuaishou stock.

Another online payment license recently went on the market as KFT Pay Co. Ltd., the license holder, listed 20% of its equity for sale at 57 million yuan. It’s not clear whether a transaction has reached.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use. To read the full story in Chinese, click here.

Contact reporter Denise Jia (huijuanjia@caixin.com) and editor Bob Simison (hello@caixin.com)

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