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Century of Data

The Alibaba effect: Chinese e-tailer tightens grip over 600m lives

Users sacrifice privacy for convenience of shopping, finance and health care

A model demonstrates Alibaba's FashionAI technology, which display's the item's details on the mirror. China's leading e-commerce group's services allow it collect vast amounts of data on users.   © Reuters

SHANGHAI -- China's e-commerce behemoth Alibaba Group Holding is quietly building a whole economic sphere based on the smartphone payments and services it provides.

From online shopping, grocery stores and finance to health care, the online giant is moving into more and more services that affect many aspects of life through smartphones. In exchange for the conveniences on offer, however, users are giving up their personal information in unprecedented ways.

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