PETALING JAYA: Malaysia is the ninth largest market worldwide for Chinese tourists for overseas spending, as recorded by online payment platform Alipay.
In a statement, Alipay said the transactions recorded during the May Day holiday period saw Malaysia surpassing developed markets like the United States.
Despite being only introduced in Malaysia in May last year, the country has an average per capita spending of 1,021.18 yuan (RM635.97).
Hong Kong topped the list for the top 10 May Day destinations by transaction volume this year, followed by Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Macau, Taiwan, Australia and Singapore.
Malaysia is at ninth place, followed by the United States.
“Malaysia presents an exciting opportunity for our network as more Chinese travellers opt to travel to the country for a holiday,” said Alipay general manager for cross-border business for South and South-East Asia Cherry Huang.
With the findings by Nielsen that more than 90% of Chinese tourists preferred making payments via mobile, Huang said it was important for Alipay to establish its presence in Malaysia.
“This will provide Chinese travellers the same smart lifestyle they enjoy back home while bolstering local businesses from the boom in their arrivals,” she said.
During this year’s three-day national holiday, Alipay processed five times as many in-store transactions overseas than in 2017.
Records also showed that those born in the 1980s and 1990s accounted for 85% of all Alipay usage overseas, with American-style fast-food chains, Hong Kong-style cafes and coffee shops processing the most number of transactions among the eateries.
Alipay is now accepted by more than 18,000 merchants nationwide.