Digital payment is a stratospherically humongous system in China right now, and is in the news recently due to the withdrawn IPO of the company behind Alipay, Ant Group.
Alipay’s Chinese name is 支付宝, so is it connected to new Hong Kong company ePay technology Limited 支付易有限公司? Almost certainly not: it turns out there are a lot of Hong Kong companies with similar names. Alipay’s Hong Kong holding company is Alipay (Hong Kong) Holding Limited 支付寶(香港)控股有限公司 according to the misbegotten Ant Group IPO prospectus, but it turns out there are a lot of Hong Kong companies with 支付 (which literally means “to pay (money)”) in their name, starting with CHINA EXPRESS PAYMENT SYSTEM LIMITED 中國運通支付系統有限公司 (now CHINA EXPRESS INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT LIMITED 中國運通投資管理有限公司) in 2001.
There have been a total of 6 Hong Kong companies with 支付易 in the name, 2 of which have since dissolved, one of which had the same Chinese name 支付易有限公司 and was only dissolved in April 2020. However, there have been only 3 companies with 易支付 in the name, one of which was very short-lived. That’s because it is the main part of the name of PayEase (Hong Kong) Limited 首信易支付(香港)有限公司, the Hong Kong subsidiary of Chinese payment gateway pioneer PayEase Corp.
In conclusion, this second coming of 支付易有限公司 is not who you might think it is…