China's Alipay launches cross-border payment service to let Chinese customers shop on US sites

Markets Associated Press

China's half billion online shoppers will soon have an easier way to shop in the U.S.

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Alipay, the payments unit recently spun off from Chinese e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba, is launching a service for U.S. retailers called ePass. Alipay has already been working in beta mode with retailers such as luxury deal site Gilt.com, The Gap and H&M.

The move will let U.S. retailers tap into the estimated 500 million Chinese online shoppers who spent $298 billion online in 2013.

Users of ePass will see an ePass payment option when they check out on a retailer's site. Chinese shoppers pay in yuan using their Alipay account and Alipay transmits the payment to merchants in 14 currencies via 180 international financial institutions. Customs duties are calculated at checkout.