Online shopping is an immense industry in China, with hundreds of millions of users and worth over $670 billion last year. Some of the largest e-commerce markets on the planet are targeted at Chinese consumers, and their spending power is growing. Payment convenience is a key component of the success of online marketplaces, and Ripple intends to facilitate that with new partnerships in the country.
In an announcement on the Ripple company blog yesterday, the San Francisco-based blockchain firm stated that it was entering into partnership with a leading Chinese money service company. Lianlian International is a Hong Kong licensed operation with 150 million users in the region.
xCurrent Cross-Border Transactions
The company has joined RippleNet to receive real-time cross-border remittances, invoice payments, and e-commerce payments. It will be using Ripple’s settlement solution, xCurrent, that offers end-to-end tracking, powering cross-border transactions between China, the US, and Europe.
Lianlian joins Ripple’s existing network of over 100 financial institutions to reap the benefits of faster, cheaper, and more convenient cross-border payments. The company processes billions in payments each year between merchants and consumers, such as Amazon, Ali Express, and eBay. This makes it one of the largest money service companies serving China’s burgeoning e-commerce market. Online retail is expected to reach over $1.3 trillion this year, according to China Daily.
LianLian CEO Arthur Zhu praised the partnership:
With RippleNet, we will further enhance that experience and increase our market share by offering customers instant, blockchain-powered payments across the 19 currencies that we currently support. We look forward to working with Ripple to power payment flows between China and RippleNet members in new markets.
RippleNet Ventures Further
xCurrent is essentially an enterprise software solution that enables banks to instantly settle cross-border payments with end-to-end tracking. RippleNet is expanding its network of xCurrent partners, which it already has in Japan, Thailand, India, and South Korea. This would facilitate transaction speed and lower costs between those using the system.
Ripple’s cryptocurrency, XRP, is not a part of this partnership and has failed to react to the news of the growing acceptance of the company’s partnerships and banking products. The token has been on a downward trend for the past month, falling from $3 on January 9th to $0.75 today. The majority of the trade in XRP is in South Korea, with exchanges there handling over 60% of the total volume.
[Disclosure: the author of this article is a holder of XRP]
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