Alipay names new GM for Asian cross-border businesses

Ant Financial Services Group has appointed Cherry Huang (pictured) as its general manager of cross-border business for South and Southeast Asia of Alipay.

Huang reports directly to Carl Su, vice president of Ant Financial. She will lead business operations and growth in the region to further strengthen Alipay’s payments platform leadership through enabling cross-border transactions. That includes helping businesses across retail, travel, hospitality and F&B connect with Chinese tourists.

The appointment of Huang is expected to reinforce Ant Financial’s mission to "leverage Alibaba’s online marketplace success to benefit brick-and-mortar merchants, and to expand Alipay into the world’s leading payments platform and lifestyle ecosystem in South and Southeast Asia."

Huang joined Alipay in 2016 as the head of marketing and operations of Southeast Asia. In this role, she had successfully established strategic partnerships with Singapore Changi Airport, Thailand King Power Group, Resort World Sentosa Singapore and more. Prior to Alipay, she has had close to 15 years of experience in travel and tourism, hospitality and payments sectors. Her expertise lies in regional business management, marketing and partnerships, company's spokesperson said.

Alipay has evolved from a digital wallet to a lifestyle enabler. Mainland Chinese travelers and merchants use the platform for payments and other services such as instant tax refund, competitive exchange rates, consumer credits and fast settlement. The platform also acts as an effective marketing channel for businesses with its sizable reach and viewership.

“Providing Chinese tourists the seamless payments experience that they enjoy at home is our goal. We will continue to work towards this goal and pursue more cross-border opportunities to grow Alipay into a mobile lifestyle enabler,” Huang said.

To-date, Alipay operates in China and six countries within Southeast Asia region, including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines. It has over 80 financial institutions and payment solution partners and more than 70,000 merchants in its ecosystem to enable cross-border payments for Chinese traveling overseas.