Alipay has signed an agreement to partner with Han Feng Group to further its reach with the Chinese community in the U.S.
The online and payment platform said the partnership with Han Feng, a leading food supplier for Chinese restaurants and supermarkets in the U.S., will allow the food company’s 14,000 merchants across 22 states to better serve and connect with Chinese consumers visiting America, beginning with New York and North Carolina. Han Feng, based in North Carolina, has been in operation since 1997.
Alipay’s platform, operated by Ant Financial Services Group, has more than 520 million active users in China alone. The Alipay app enables users to find merchants nearby, receive coupons and make purchase decisions through the app’s “Discover” option. Alipay expanded its digital payment platform to the North American retail market in January to enhance the shopping and travel experience for Chinese tourists visiting the U.S. and Canada. Its first retail partner was the DFS Group.
More than three million Chinese consumers are expected to visit North America in 2017, according to the U.S. Travel Association. And those who choose to use their Alipay mobile wallet during the checkout process can approve the transaction either in U.S. dollars or in Chinese yuan.
Souheil Badran, president of Alipay North America, said, “By pairing Han Feng’s extensive reach within the Chinese consumer market with the familiarity of the Alipay platform, both Chinese consumers and the merchants that provide them with services will benefit from this partnership.”
Jonathan Ni, Han Feng’s chief financial officer, said, “By maximizing Alipay’s visibility to the U.S. consumer, we are also bringing our merchant partners access to a new revenue stream.”
Ant Financial Services, an affiliate of Alibaba, launched Alipay in 2004. In addition to its active user base, it counts as partners more than 400 financial institutions. Users of the platform can hail a taxi, book a hotel, buy movie tickets, pay bills and make appointments with doctors. It is expanding its in-store and off-line payments platform both inside and outside of China. Alipay supports 19 currencies.