Alipay, the world's leading mobile and online payment platform
operated by Ant Financial Services Group, is quickly expanding
across the South Island as a Christchurch Airport project gains
The project sees the airport's 'South' initiative assist
businesses to become Alipay merchants so they can connect with the
record numbers of Chinese visiting New Zealand.
More than three thousand businesses have already expressed an
interest in joining the smartphone app with the project's first
retailers having just gone live on the globally-successful
Christchurch Airport's Chief Aeronautical and Commercial Officer
Justin Watson is not surprised at the project's popularity, saying
Alipay is a valuable opportunity for New Zealand businesses.
"Alipay has 520 million Chinese users. By becoming an Alipay
merchant, kiwi businesses can start marketing directly to the app's
users, establishing direct one-to-one relationships."
Justin Watson says Alipay is a cutting-edge tool that will
connect small, medium and large kiwi businesses with the more than
400,000 Chinese who visit New Zealand every year.
"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 business that offers Alipay than one that doesn't.
Better still, being an Alipay merchant lets kiwi businesses talk to
these visitors before, during and after their holiday here."
Justin Watson says Alipay is a great example of Chinese
"Users can look up places to stay or eat, and book activities
before they leave China, businesses can offer them special
discounts and while they're here users receive notifications on
their smartphone when they're near any business that accepts
Alipay. This is especially important given the swing away from
organised tours - more than 60%
of the Chinese visitors who come to New Zealand are now Free
Independent Travellers (FITs)."
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.
Country Manager of Alipay ANZ George Lawson said New Zealand is
uniquely positioned to capitalise on Chinese tourists' growing
demand for quality products and experiences.
"New Zealand is the envy of the world when it comes to tourism,
and Chinese visitor numbers are only going to expand in the years
to come. Every business we have spoken to across the South Island
understands the tremendous opportunity at their fingertips
that's very pleasing. By enabling Alipay merchants are not only
removing friction at the point of sale, but opening up a highly
sophisticated marketing channel. From user reviews to
location-based marketing and loyalty rewards, there are countless
ways to connect with new customers and keep them engaged."
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
"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