Danny Chung, general manager of Ant Group in Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Mongolia during a press conference held in central Seoul on Monday. [ALIPAY KOREA]
Alipay, a Chinese mobile payment app, pledged to expand partnerships with small-and medium-sized merchants in Korea as an increasing number of Chinese tourists complete purchases in nontraditional tourist areas.
“More young tourists in pursuit of new experiences are making purchases in new business districts like Apgujeong-dong and Seongsu-dong [in southern and eastern Seoul] unlike in the past when the spending was concentrated in the Hongdae and Myeong-dong areas,” in western and central Seoul, said Danny Chung, general manager of Ant Group in Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Mongolia during a press conference held in central Seoul on Monday.
Their spending locations have expanded to smaller cafés and restaurants as well as dermatology, plastic surgery and apparel shops. Chung added Alipay will accordingly expand partnerships with small-and medium-sized fashion brands and hotels to meet the changing trend.
Alipay is operated by Ant Group. It is headquartered in Hangzhou, China. This year marked its eighth anniversary since entering Korea.
Alipay said Alipay+ transactions jumped 700 percent in October compared to the beginning of the year.
Alipay+ is a solution that provides online tools for merchants to digitalize payments, operations and services and marketing processes across platforms and social media channels.
The company said it will also find new partnerships with transportation operators.
Since Alipay’s entrance into the Korean market in 2015, it expanded its business focused on inbound tourists to Korea from China. The company increased the number of partnerships with merchants through KakaoPay and ZeroPay, Korea’s public QR-code-based digital payment service aimed at helping small businesses.
Alipay started supporting a payment system for Korean travelers visiting some 40 countries through partnerships with local payment firms starting this year.
“There seem to be more opportunities left” for Alipay to attract more Korean users to the payment service abroad, Chung said. “But I believe there will be endless opportunities considering thousands of Koreans travel” every year.
He added, “Demand for tourism in Korea and in the Asian market in general is increasing and it is expected to reach pre-pandemic levels next year,” said Chung.
Korea is an attractive market for Alipay because it is a short-haul market, where a lot of Chinese tourists can conveniently visit over the weekend.
“That’s why Korea was one of the first countries where we launched the service and it has become a mature market. In that sense, Korea is a very meaningful market,” Chung added.
BY JIN MIN-JI [email@example.com]