Alibaba Group and its affiliate Ant Financial have signed a strategic partnership agreement with China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC), the nation’s biggest oil and gas producer.
Under the deal inked Thursday, the two sides will cooperate in a wide array of Internet-based services including cloud computing, mobile payments and online finance.
The pact will allow Alibaba and its financial services affiliate to tap into CNPC’s network of 20,000 fuel stations, Bloomberg noted.
It comes after Alibaba’s Internet rival Tencent Holdings (00700.HK) earlier teamed up with another mainland oil giant, China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec, 00386.HK)
In August 2014, Tencent announced a partnership with the sales and marketing arm of Sinopec, which owns more than 30,000 fuel stations around China, covering areas such as mobile payments and media marketing.
“Alibaba and Tencent are both trying to boost usage of their payments services via these deals,” Marie Sun, a Shenzhen-based analyst at Morningstar Investment Service, told Bloomberg.
The rivalry between Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma and Tencent boss Pony Ma spans more than a decade as both firms expanded from web-based shopping and social media bases to online payment and location-based services.
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