Overseas services boosted by Alipay

Updated: 2014-06-26 04:51

By MENG JING (China Daily)

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Li Ye, an analyst at Analysys International, an Internet consultancy in Beijing, said Alipay is a pioneer in terms of e-commerce development and providing a "bridge" between online shoppers and merchants.

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"With Chinese consumers expanding their footprint overseas, it is high time that Alipay offered more cross-border payment services," she said.

Teaming up with overseas payment providers is a good strategy for Alipay's global expansion, as building up its own overseas financial channels from scratch would be too time consuming, Li added.

Alipay, with more than 300 million registered users in China, announced on Monday a partnership with Swiss tax refund company Global Blue. They are launching a service to enable Chinese tourists to receive tax refunds on their shopping paid directly into their Alipay accounts.

In the past year, Alipay has combined with partners in a number of countries. Deals signed include allowing users to pay airfares through travel payment network UATP and payment for accommodation at Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore and for goods at South Korean shopping mall Lotte.com.

Alipay's expansion abroad comes amid surging overseas spending by Chinese consumers.

Chinese tourists have been the world's top spenders since 2012 and bought $129 billion worth of goods and services overseas last year, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

People who do not travel abroad are increasingly eager to place orders on overseas online marketplaces directly or to buy through proxy agents.

According to the China E-Commerce Research Center in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, the overseas-buying market amounted to 74.4 billion yuan ($12 billion) in 2013. The center has forecast that the market will exceed 100 billion yuan in 2014.

Mo Daiqing, an analyst at the center, said Chinese online shoppers are increasingly enjoying shopping through agents because they feel they can get cheaper and better goods outside China.


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