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21 Dec 2017

Alipay arrives in North Island

A new Christchurch Airport project helping New Zealand businesses sign up to Alipay, the world's largest online payment system, has its first North Island merchant.

The project has seen more than a hundred businesses across the South Island go live as Alipay merchants in recent weeks.

Alipay is a Chinese smartphone app that has more than 520-million users. It's used to
pay for everything from street food to luxury merchandise around the world and is a valuable marketing tool for businesses.

Wellington's Weta Studio Tours will be the Christchurch Airport project's first Alipay merchant in the North Island. Its popular tours showcase Weta Workshop's artistry on movies including The Lord of the Rings, Avatar and television series Thunderbirds Are Go.

Weta Workshop's Head of Tourism Jake Downing says they are excited to be launching Alipay at Weta Studio Tours.

"The Chinese market is an important growing segment for us, the Wellington region and New Zealand as a whole. Alipay will make it easy and convenient for Chinese tourists to experience what we offer."

Christchurch Airport's Chief Aeronautical and Commercial Officer Justin Watson says Alipay
is a valuable opportunity for New Zealand businesses.

""This cutting-edge tool lets kiwi businesses market themselves directly to the app's users, establishing direct one-to-one relationships. It is a great way to connect with the record numbers (around 400,000) of Chinese tourists visiting New Zealand every year.""

- Justin Watson, Chief Aeronautical and Commercial Officer

"The Chinese use Alipay more than credit cards. Because they trust it and know how
it works, our Chinese guests are more likely to spend with a kiwi business that offers Alipay than one that doesn't. Better still, being on Alipay lets kiwi businesses talk and do business with these visitors before, during and after their holiday here."

Jake Downing says Weta Studio Tours are looking forward to using Alipay as a promotional tool.

"It has been easy for us to get set up on the platform in a relatively short period of time. We'll look at doing targeted promotional campaigns and partnering with other Wellington operators as they come on board."

Christchurch Airport signed a world-first partnership agreement with Alipay's parent
company, Alibaba Group, in April 2017. This is the first initiative to result from that agreement.

Justin Watson says the partnership initiatives are designed to both grow the economy
across the South Island's regions and improve the experience that Chinese visitors have when they come to New Zealand.

"This is about using the power of the internet to make it easier for New Zealand businesses, of all sizes, to do business internationally. The potential is enormous and we are incredibly proud to be creating this opportunity for our place in the world."