A joint venture between CK Hutchison Holdings, the flagship conglomerate of Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing, and Alipay, the mobile payments arm of China's Ant Financial Services Group, will hold a 24-hour online shopping event on December 12 called the "Double 12" festival to help push Alipay's expansion in key markets.

The event will take place in Hong Kong, India, Thailand and the Philippines with Alipay partners in each location: Hutchison in Hong Kong, Paytm in India, Truemoney in Thailand and GCash in the Philippines, according to the South China Morning Post.

"This concept is about developing Alipay globally, while also developing localised service offerings," said Douglas Feagin, the president of international business at Ant Financial, an affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding.

"Double 12" will be held about a month after Alibaba's global Singles' Day online shopping extravaganza on November 11, when the Hangzhou-based e-commerce company hit a record 168.2 billion yuan ($37.1b) in gross merchandise volume – the total amount of transactions that day on its online retail platforms.


As part of the December event, the AlipayHK joint venture has partnered with more than 8,000 bricks-and-mortar stores to offer exclusive gifts, discounts and rewards throughout December.

In addition, vendors in the Po Tat Market in Hong Kong's Kwun Tong district will offer a "1 dollar groceries" flash sale on December 12.

CK Hutchison and Alipay formed the AlipayHK 50-50 joint venture in September to extend the reach of Alipay's digital wallet services in Hong Kong. The venture remains subject to regulatory approval, and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of next year.

Paul Haswell, a partner at international law firm Pinsent Masons, said in September that it would not be surprising to see Ant Financial take advantage of Li's "global empire" to drive Alipay's adoption around the world.

Ant Financial initially rolled out AlipayHK's mobile wallet and payments app in Hong Kong in May, heating up competition in the market against Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay and Tencent Holdings' WeChat Wallet service.

This article first appeared in the South China Morning Post