Earlier today we wrote about a possibility of Xiaomi’s upcoming Mi Band 2 to feature Alipay’s one-touch payment solution. This information was based on a rumor which surfaced in China along with some images of the service itself. Well, we have some official news to share with you now. According to Reuters, Alibaba’s finance arm and Xiaomi have partnered up in order to develop mobile payment systems using wearable technology, read on.
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Xiaomi actually partnered up with Ant Financial, which is Alibaba’s affiliate which includes the Alipay payment solution, which is a rather popular service in China. The two companies will enable the Alipay Wallet application to link with Xiaomi’s Mi Band, which will let consumers to make payments without the need to enter the password or anything of the sort. The link with Mi Band will be enabled on the current version of Alipay Waller for Android, while the next version will be compatible with the iOS as well. That connection will be encrypted in order to avoid any security issues while making payments via NFC.
Previous rumor mentioned Mi Band 2 to sport such a payment system, so we certainly didn’t expect this partnership to happen so soon, much less the actual announcement of the availability for the current-gen Mi Band. This is a step forward as far as mobile payments go, at least for Chinese consumers. Alipay is really popular in China, although the service is also available internationally, but not as popular. Alipay actually operates with Visa and MasterCard at the moment, so it remains to be seen what will Xiaomi and Alibaba do here in the end. This partnership definitely sounds interesting, especially considering that Alibaba recently invested $590 million in Meizu, Xiaomi’s competitor in the Chinese market.
This is just one of the many projects Xiaomi is working on at the moment. The company has announced a slew of devices this year, and the latest batch arrived a couple of days ago during the company’s fifth anniversary event in China. Xiaomi is planning all sorts of expansions this year, and are expected to launch a number of new devices, including the company’s new MX5 flagship and the second-gen Mi Pad tablet.