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Global Travellers Go Cashless in China with Alipay

Shops and restaurants around the country reach out to international guests with Alipay's new international card binding capabilities...
2023-08-15 11:00:00

Sponsored content provided by Alipay

Traveling around China, a country with a rich history, vibrant culture and traditions, and breathtaking landmarks and sights, we are always impressed by the hospitality of the Chinese people and local merchants.

This year, a growing number of overseas visitors are coming to China for travel, leisure, or events including the 31st FISU Summer World University Games in Chengdu and the upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou, among others. Getting around and paying for goods and services has never been easier for international guests, thanks to the recent innovations by the popular mobile payment platform, Alipay. Now, international travelers can bind and use their international cards on this local mobile payment platform, using their credit basically everywhere in the country.

Ahead of this influx of international tourists, local merchants around China are making their businesses more open and welcoming to guests. Tourists who have already had the experience of visiting China know that encountering Western-style restaurants and menus is commonplace. English-language menus, however, when you travel off the beaten path and try local delicacies, are less the standard. This is a changing trend, though, with China's merchants and restaurateurs seeking to embrace tourism travelers flowing back into the country.

Take Chengdu, the host city of the ongoing 31 FISU Summer World University Games (from July 28 to August 8, 2023), as an example. Businesses in the Sichuan capital are making leaps and bounds in appealing to non-Chinese speakers. Local restaurants, especially those selling world-famous Sichuan cuisine hotpot, have started to prepare English-language menus with reminders that payment through Alipay is accepted.

A Chengdu hotpot restaurant, named Luo Er, prepared an English-language menu and Alipay to welcome international guests. The photos are from the Chinese lifestyle-sharing platform Little Red Book/Xiaohongshu.

Local souvenir stores are also showing overseas visitors that they accept payment through Alipay as well as their home e-wallets including Touch 'n Go eWallet from Malaysia, Kakao Pay from Korea, and AlipayHK from Hong Kong, China.

According to Alipay, one of the industry-leading digital platform has upgraded its services to make sure overseas tourists can enjoy mobile payment services in China. Travelers with only international bank cards and non-local phone numbers may use the Alipay app to make payments at tens of millions of Alipay partner merchants across the country.

The sign-up steps for overseas travelers are similar to those for China-based users. After downloading the Alipay app, signing up to register, and linking an international bank card issued by major international card networks including Visa, Mastercard, Diners Club International, and Discover, overseas travelers can start their mobile payment journey in China and pay like a local.

Here are the steps to set up an Alipay account as posted on the platform's own social media: