(Corrects headline and text to clarify that Ant Financial is an Alibaba affiliate)
SEOUL, May 20 (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics said it had struck a deal with an Alibaba Group Holding affiliate for owners of its phones to be able to more easily make payments with Alipay accounts - a move it hopes will boost sales in the world’s biggest smartphone market.
Users of Samsung Pay will also have the option of paying with their Alipay accounts without having separately access the Alipay application. Alipay, which is operated by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial Services Group, has 450 million active registered users.
Samsung, the world’s top smartphone maker, launched its own mobile payment system, Samsung Pay, in China in March, about one month after Apple Inc launched Apple Pay.
But Alipay’s dominant position has meant that it will be difficult for any latecomers in mobile payments to gain significant ground just on their own.
Samsung has been losing out to Chinese rivals Huawei Technologies Co and Xiaomi Inc as well as Apple and no longer ranks among the top five smartphone brands in China, according to market researcher Strategy Analytics. (Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)