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Privacy concerns stall Alibaba's plans for Japanese Alipay

Banks reluctant to give China an opening to access customer data

More than 40,000 stores in Japan accept Alipay, including this department store operated by Sapporo Marui Mitsukoshi.

TOKYO -- Alibaba Group Holding's plan to launch a version of the Alipay mobile payment service in Japan has hit a snag, as banks withhold cooperation out of concern over potential data leaks into China.

Alipay, operated by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial, lets users transfer funds from a linked bank account to merchants by scanning a QR code with a smartphone app. The service boasts 500 million users in China, where Alibaba stands as the biggest e-commerce group.

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