Ripple Breaks Into China Through a Joint Venture Between AmEx and LianLian Group

Ripple makes inroads into the Chinese market, thanks to its partnerships with American Express and the LianLian Group. Both American Express and LianLian Group are established partners of Ripple and confirmed members of RippleNet.

American Express, the multinational financial services corporation, has recently announced theChinese approval of their global payments platform, AmEx.

This approval marks the first time an American company is given direct access to the Chinese e-commerce market, which is expected to be the biggest card payments network by 2019.

This development is made possible via a joint venture with LianLian Group, a payments settlement provider that previously settled payments solely through the state-controlled UnionPay network. Thus, AmEx is breaking ground on this front as well.

The AmEx-LianLian joint venture is named Express (Hangzhou) Technology Service Co. and has 1 year to complete preparations for operations.

Ripple’s Partnerships with AmEx and LianLian Group

This news means that Ripple is able to penetrate into their highest priority market for cross-border payments. AmEx partnered with Ripple last year, and aims to better serve small and medium enterprises with fast and seamless payment processing.

As for Ripple’s partnership with LianLian Group, it is not to be overlooked.

LianLian Group already has over 150 million registered customers and uses Ripple’s blockchain to settle e-commerce payments in China. They also-settle cross border payments using Ripple’s xCurrent.

As Ripple partners, the joint venture can easily adopt the use to xCurrent via multi-hop, as well as a connection to xRapid in the future.

Asheesh Birla, the Senior VP of Product at Ripple describes the benefits of XCurrent and xVia products:

xVia allows you to use a one standard connection to get you all the benfits of RippleNet and our products. Without xRapid they would use xCurrent and where xRapid is available, they can then add on xRapid and move money on demand using XRP and payout instantly. They get reach wherever xCurrent is available, whether that be a bank or a cash payout provider.

Therefore, the more clients who sign on to xCurrent, the larger the impact will be on the network as a whole.

Furthermore, the Director of Product at Ripple, Craig DeWitt, explained what the xCurrent network can really achieve via the feature known as multi-hop:

Multi-hop gives Ripple members the ability to transact with banks or payment providers or digital wallets that they don’t have a direct relationship with. That’s important because in today’s world you need a bunch of bilateral relationships clunkily put together in a chain in order to move money. Multi-hop makes that thing of the past.

China’s Stance on Cryptocurrencies

The Chinese government has strict policies regarding cryptocurrencies, which means that Ripple’s XRP-powered xRapid will likely not see adoption in the country anytime soon. So, one could think the new developments with AmEx and LianLian Group may not directly impact the use of XRP.

However, the country has shown much interest and support for blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT), and Ripple utilizes both these technologies in their xCurrent and xVia products.

Regardless, this approval granted by the Chinese government is a positive sign and  certainly opens up possibilities for both the e-commerce market and cryptocurrencies.

With this and other recent developments, it’s clear that Ripple is making strides towards becoming the number 1 company in global payments processing.

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