`its popular payment service Alipay has received a third-party payment license in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Monetary Authority issued the first five stored value facilities (SVF) licenses to Alipay, Tenpay of Alibaba's rival Tencent, HKT Payment, TNG and Octopus.
Alipay mobile app can provide e-wallet and merchant discounts for Hong Kong users, Ant Financial said.
Alipay entered Hong Kong in 2007 and nearly one fourth of Hong Kong residents have used its service.
By July, about 6,000 brick-and-mortar stores in Hong Kong have offered Alipay payment service.
Without official licenses, no third-party payment platforms are allowed to operate in Hong Kong beyond November 13, 2016.
Peng Yijie, Vice President of Ant Financial's international business, said the license is a boost to Alipay as it has long been seeking to offer convenient non-cash payment services to Hong Kong residents.
Alipay now offers payment service for more than 80,000 overseas offline stores in 70 countries and regions. Meanwhile, it is in cooperation with ride-hailing firm Uber and Airbnb, a pioneer in short-term home rentals.
(Xinhua News Agency August 25, 2016)