Chinese mobile payments have made new moves in going abroad. On March 15, Ant Financial’s Alipay platform entered the markets in Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines and Burma to serve Chinese tourists. With their previous launches in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam, Alipay is now available in eight Southeast Asian countries and 40 countries globally.
Southeast Asia has always been a popular destination for Chinese tourists. In 2017, more than two million Chinese tourists visited Cambodia, Burma, Laos and the Philippines. Alipay has facilitated shopping, dining, entertainment and hotel transactions in these countries. Cambodia’s Tourism Ministry reported more than one million Chinese tourists in 2017, an increase of 45 percent from the previous year, and accounting for a substantial proportion of their tourism market. Currently, three major airports in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanouk support Alipay at vendors like Burger King, Costa Coffee, Dairy Queen and duty-free shops.
According to the Philippine Tourism Ministry, in 2017, China became the Philippines’ second largest tourist source with about 968,000 Chinese tourists. The well-known holiday complex Resorts World Manila became one of the first to adopt Alipay to facilitate dining, hotel stays, cinema visits and other recreational facilities. In Yangon, Myanmar, Alipay is available in the luxury five-star Sule Shangri-La Hotel, the local famous restaurant Rangoon Tea House and the rooftop Yangon Yangon Bar. Alipay is also available in the malls, shops, convenience stores and restaurants in Vientiane, Laos.
Cherry Huang, Alipay’s general manager of cross-border operations in South and Southeast Asia, said, “We wish to provide Chinese consumers with a smarter lifestyle and facilitate their travels. Through our partner ecosystem, more businesses, even the smallest ones, will be linked. This will not only bring convenience to tourists, but also opportunities to businesses.”
Currently, Alipay is available in hundreds of thousands of stores in 40 countries and regions, including North America, Europe, Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia and the Middle East. It covers restaurants, supermarkets, department stores, convenience stores, duty-free shops, theme parks and international airports. In 29 countries, consumers can even access tax rebate services through Alipay.