PayPal, the online payment platform of US e-commerce giant eBay, will tie up with a Chinese partner to allow consumers in China to buy from overseas merchants, according to a report.
Customers of China UnionPay, the country's largest provider of electronic payment services, will be able to link their bankcard accounts with PayPal from the third quarter of 2010 under the deal, Wednesday's report said.
They will then have access to a network of nearly eight million online merchants worldwide, including US retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Zappos.com, a unit of Amazon.com, it said.
The partnership will also enable merchants around the world who accept PayPal and are willing to serve and ship to Chinese customers to tap a base of millions of cardholders, it said.
"Chinese users will be a huge buying force," said Alan Tien, PayPal's general manager in China, adding the country is estimated to have more than 300 million online shoppers by 2013, according to the report.
China has the world's largest population of Internet users, with an estimated 384 million, according to Chinese figures.
Neither PayPal or China UnionPay could be reached immediately by AFP to discuss the deal.
The deal could pose new competition for eBay's Chinese rival Alibaba Group, which owns China's largest online auction site, Taobao.com, the report said.
Transactions on Taobao are handled by Alibaba Group's own online payment platform AliPay, most of which are yuan-denominated sales between Chinese sellers and buyers, it said.
Taobao reported 200 billion yuan (29 billion dollars) of transactions last year, it added.
Tough competition from Taobao.com led eBay to largely withdraw from China in 2006.
Today, eBay's Chinese marketplace business is run through a site called EachNet, but still has only a tiny share of the market, the paper said.