Malaysia among top 10 markets for overseas spending by Chinese tourists

Malaysia is the ninth largest market worldwide for Chinese tourists when it comes to overseas spending, according to Alipay, a third-party mobile and online payment platform by Ant Financial.

The transactions, which were recorded during the three-day annual May Day holiday celebrated in China, witnessed Alipay recording an average per-capita spend of RM635.97 in Malaysia, which beat more developed markets such as the US. Consumers born in the 1980s and 1990s accounted for 85% of Alipay usage overseas, with coffee shops, Hong Kong-style cafes and American-style fast food chains processing the highest number of Alipay transactions amongst eating establishments.

A+M has reached out to Alipay for more details.

Alipay is currently accepted in more than 18,000 merchants in Malaysia, including stores operating within Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and KLIA2, all Eraman, 7-Eleven and Starbucks stores in Malaysia, as well as various businesses across Resorts World Genting. Taxis in Malaysia have also begun accepting Alipay as a result of its partnership with e-hailing app EzCab.

According to Cherry Huang, GM, cross-border business for South and Southeast Asia, Alipay, Malaysia presents an "exciting opportunity" for its network as more Chinese consumers opt to travel to the country for a holiday. Huang added that since most Chinese tourists prefer making payments via mobile, it is important for Alipay to establish its presence in Malaysia.

"This will provide the Chinese travellers the same smart lifestyle they enjoy back home, while bolstering local businesses from the boom in Chinese tourists arrivals,” Huang added.

Huang was appointed to her role last year, leading 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.

Last year, Alipay inked partnerships with Malaysia Airports and Public Bank to offer its services to a wider range of merchants and consumers. Across the border in Singapore, Alipay also tied up with the Singapore Tourism Board and retailers in Chinatown to target Chinese tourists that visit the country.

Check out the top 10 May Day destinations by transaction volume below: