New alliances appear to be in the making in the rapidly growing e-payments business. And love is in the air, sort of .
At a Wall Street Journal conference, Alibaba CEO Jack Ma and Apple CEO Tim Cook praised each other’s business and talked hopefully about potential partnerships the two companies could pursue surrounding the new Apple Pay e-payments service.
Alibaba has its own online payments service, Alipay, which dominates the Chinese market, but is little used elsewhere.
“I hope we can do something together,” said Ma while also pointing discussions about partnerships with film studios about content deals.
“We’re going to talk about getting married later this week,” joked Cook – at least most observers hope he was joking.
“I have the utmost respect for Jack. We love to partner with people who are wicked smart, that have flexible teams, that are product-based and that push us. And we like to push them.
“Those partners we work the best with, and I think Jack has a company that is exactly like that. I love what he’s done. I think he’s a brilliant guy, I think he has brilliant people in the company. So if we can find some areas of common space, I love it.”
The market reacted positively to the comments, sending Alibaba shares up two percent in early trading on the day. Apple shares rose 0.8 percent to $106.