Photo: Reuters/Bobby Yip

Ant Financial, the payment affiliate of Alibaba, announced that it will create a joint venture with Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing’s CK Hutchison Holdings (00001.HK), to operate and expand its digital payment app in Hong Kong, Caixin reported on Tuesday.

The two companies will form a 50-50 joint venture to offer online and offline Hong Kong dollar payments under Ant Financial’s “AlipayHK” brand, which was introduced earlier in the city this year.

Alipay is now accepted in more than 4,000 leading retail brand outlets in Hong Kong, Ant Financial said in a statement.

The agreement will make Alipay’s service available in CK Hutchison’s vast network, which includes more than 600 stores selling food, electronics, wine, health and beauty products, and the telecommunications businesses that serve 6.6 million Hong Kong residents.

“Through CK Hutchison’s affiliated companies, the joint venture will have the opportunity to serve many properties and utility households,” the statement said.

The companies did not provide any further financial details, but it’s expected the joint venture, which is now subject to regulatory approval, will be completed by the end of the year.

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