BEIJING, April 12 Ant Financial, the finance
affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding, and Indonesian
media company Elang Mahkota Teknologi (Emtek) are to
form a joint venture to offer payment and financial services in
The Emtek tie-up is Ant's fifth international payments deal
since November, seeking to tap Asia's third-largest country by
population as the company continues to extend its mobile finance
empire outside China.
The new venture will initially take the form of a payments
platform within BlackBerry's messaging service, which has about
63 million users in Indonesia, the two companies said in a joint
"Ant Financial has proven know-how in delivering payment and
other financial solutions to a large and growing mobile audience
in China ... and we are looking forward to replicating and
creating this success in Indonesia," Emtek CEO Alvin
Sariaatmadja said in the statement.
Ant's Alipay payment app has 450 million users, the vast
majority of which are in China, where it is the country's most
popular mobile wallet. The company also has an internet banking
licence and offers financial services including insurance
products and mutual funds.
Reuters first reported that Ant and Emtek were in talks last
Ant has already struck deals with Thai payment company
Ascend Money, South Korea's Kakao Pay Corp and Philippines-based
fintech business Mynt. It also has plans to close further deals
in Asia this year.
The Indonesian venture also comes as Ant faces off against
U.S. company Euronet Worldwide to acquire Dallas-based
Moneygram International, a remittance business that
could play a significant role in linking Ant's other payment
assets in Asia.
Emtek, an investor in online marketplace Bukalapak.com and
travel portal Reservasi.com, signed a strategic alliance with
BlackBerry last June and will help Ant Financial to roll out a
range of payment products anchored in the BlackBerry social
messaging system (BBM) as well as payment services for
unspecified e-commerce platforms in Indonesia.
An Ant Financial spokeswoman declined to comment on a
timeline for when services by the new joint venture will be
(Reporting by Cate Cadell; Editing by David Goodman)