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Apple and Alibaba Hint at Partnership in ePayment Systems

Will Apple Pay and Alipay tie the knot?
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Apple and Alibaba could soon be collaborators. At The Wall Street Journal's WSJD live event, Alibaba's founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma was asked whether he would consider a partnership between Apple Pay and Alipay, Alibaba's payments company. "I am very interested in that," Ma said. "A good marriage needs both sides to work."

When asked about such a partnership Apple CEO Tim Cook said, "We are going to talk about getting married later this week," adding, "I have the utmost respect for Jack." It's been just over a week, but Cook says Apple Pay is already a big success. Within the first 72 hours of Apple Pay's debut, the new mobile payment service had already exceeded more than one million card activations, he said. "We are just getting started," Cook said. He expects more merchants to adopt the service because he believes it's an easier, faster and more secure way to buy goods. However, some merchants such as CVS and Rite Aid have refused the service. Cook called the tension between Apple and these merchants a "skirmish." Apple Pay is currently available at 220,000 locations around the country.

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-- Josh Lipton and Betsy Cline, CNBC