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Alipay's spare money business stirs online investment

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-06-19 10:21

BEIJING - E-commerce giant Alibaba Group, which runs, has established a new business offering customers higher investment yields than interest from banks.

Five years ago, group board chairman Ma Yun said if Chinese banks do not change then they will be forced to change. The venture could be the beginning of that process.

Alipay, China's leading third-party online payment platform and a subsidiary of the Alibaba Group, announced Monday it will offer nearly 800 million of its users the option to directly invest with the private TIANHONG Fund using spare cash from Alipay accounts.

The fund invests in various equities or stocks.

Regarded as China's first "Internet Fund," the business features the lowest threshold of fund investment with a minimum of one yuan ($0.16), other than the conventional tens of thousands of yuan.

Users can realize fund redemption at any time, and the capital can be used directly for online payments or transferred even without redemption.

China has the world's most Internet users, and online shoppers reached 242 million at the end of 2012, a jump of 24.8 percent from a year earlier, according to the China Internet Network Information Center.

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