A sign of Alibaba Group is seen during the fourth World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, China, December 3, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song
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China's tech giants Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Tencent Holdings Ltd, worth a combined $1 trillion, are on a retail investment binge, forcing merchants to choose sides amid a battle for shoppers' digital wallets.The result: fewer and fewer retailers left without allegiance to either Tencent of Alibaba.Alibaba is China's top e-commerce player and its affiliate Ant Financial leads in mobile payments.It also has a major stake in the second-largest online retailer, JD.Com.Tencent and JD.com have a growing range of allies, including French grocer Carrefour SA, which has announced a potential investment from Tencent, and U.S. retailer Walmart, which has a stake in JD.com.Alibaba took a 33 percent stake in its payment affiliate Ant Financial this month ahead of an expected mega IPO.
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