Alibaba’s last Paytm share sold for $167m

Alibaba Group has sold its remaining stake in Indian digital payments company Paytm for $167m, according to stock exchange data. The Chinese tech giant’s sell-out came a few days after Paytm posted its first-ever quarterly operating profit.

It is unclear why Alibaba sold the stake. In January, Alibaba sold a 3.1% stake in the company worth $125m. The Chinese firm previously held a 6.26% stake in Paytm. Paytm, which is backed by China’s Ant Group and Japan’s SoftBank Group, has been under pressure to turn a profit ever since its listing in November 2021.

Paytm allows users to make payments via the app, including buying airtime and paying bills, and in recent years, it has expanded its offering to include wealth management, digital gold, gaming and e-commerce. Paytm has been particularly focused on taking on the likes of Google Pay, Walmart-owned PhonePe and Facebook’s WhatsApp Pay in India’s rapidly expanding digital payments market, which Morgan Stanley has predicted could reach $1tn by 2023.

The company also expanded its offerings to international markets in 2020, with a soft launch of Paytm Canada, followed by the acquisition of Raheja QBE Insurance in January 2021. Paytm is also planning to launch a stock trading platform, as well as a feature allowing users to invest in mutual funds. The sale of the remaining stake in Paytm by Alibaba comes amid a wider crackdown on Chinese tech companies by Indian authorities.

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