Alibaba Group

The West, dragged into the cashless society

Using Alipay on the bus
Alipay on the bus in Hangzhou. Photo: VCG/Getty

In a trend that has been coming for about a decade, the developing world is dragging the advanced economies into the age of cashless, credit card-less payments in which we will do most of our business by smartphone.

What's happening: Starting first in east Africa and spreading to China, internet-based, mobile payment systems may be on the verge of cracking the ultra-difficult U.S. and Europe markets, potentially threatening the long stranglehold of big banks and credit card companies.

Alibaba files for secondary stock listing in Hong Kong: Reports

 Alibaba Group Executive Chairman Jack Ma speaks at the unveiling of the Alibaba Showcase at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on February 10, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea.
Alibaba Group Executive Chairman Jack Ma. Photo by Marianna Massey/Getty Images

Alibaba has filed confidentially for a secondary listing in Hong Kong, Bloomberg and Reuters reported on Thursday, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Details: The deal is being led by Chinese investment bank CICC and Swiss-based Credit Suisse, according to the news organizations. The Chinese e-commerce giant filed the application this week without the need for financial disclosures, Bloomberg reports. It comes 5 years after Alibaba raised $25 billion via an IPO in New York.

Go deeper: Alibaba weighs $20 billion secondary offering in Hong Kong