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Apple, Alibaba Consider Partnering on Mobile Payments

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Could Apple and Alibaba be teaming up in the future? Possibly.

Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma, at the Wall Street Journal Live technology conference today, said he is “very interested” in talking to Apple about a partnership between Alipay, the payment service offered on his website, and Apple Pay.

Apple debuted its new system, Apple Pay Oct. 20. The system enables users to pay at check out using an iOS device. It’s similar to using Interac but there is no card involved — just an iPhone.

“I hope we can do something together,” Ma told the Wall Street Journal. “As always a good marriage needs both sides (working together.) I respect Apple and I respect Tim very much. I think he’s doing a very fantastic job.”

Ma said his payment system has 300 million users.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, who spoke at the conference directly after Ma, said the company activated more than one million Apple Pay accounts in just three days.

“We like to partner with people that are wicked smart, with flexible teams that are product-based that push us,” Cook said. “I think Jack has a company that’s exactly like that. If we can find some areas of common space, I love it. I love partnering with people like that.”

Cook said he and Ma are likely to meet to discuss a partnership, but did not say what form that partnership could take or how the two firms are likely to work together.

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