Alipay, the digital platform for payment and other digital services owned by China-base Ant Group, has on last Friday reported that the total transaction value made by Chinese tourists in Singapore via its app has almost doubled in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the previous quarter (Q4 2022).

The strong growth was driven by China reopening its borders for international travel and resuming group tours to Singapore during the first quarter of this year, Alipay said in a statement.

According to the statement, the average value per transaction also showed an upward growth of over 40 percent.

High-end brands and shopping malls recorded the most transactions in the first three months of the year.

This included brands such as LVMH, Chanel & Hermes and at shopping malls including Marina Bay Sands, ION Orchard and Takashimaya.

Additionally, the number of Alipay users who made transactions in March 2023 has grown to 45 percent of the average number in 2019.

Commenting on the fast recovery of Chinese tourists in Singapore, Cherry Huang, General Manager of Alipay+ Offline Merchant Services, Ant Group, said Singapore continues to rank as one of the top travel destinations for Chinese tourists.

He also said the firm is encouraged by the strong support from the local brands and merchants in Singapore who are partnering closely with Alipay to enhance their offerings and services to bring great experiences to Chinese travellers.

“Chinese tourists now can easily access and enjoy great deals, promotions, membership benefits via the Alipay app, specifically the Passion Made Possible Privileges (PMPP) mini programme and through the Destination Page, to enjoy a rewarding and hassle-free travel experience in Singapore,” he said.

As consumers’ travel preference becomes more digital post the pandemic, he said the firm has introduced the Alipay+ D-store solution to make it easier for brick-and-mortar businesses to go digital at scale and to provide consumers a seamless omni-channel experience.

“With this one-stop solution, businesses can now build digital stores across multiple digital platforms including the Alipay app in a fast, scalable and cost-efficient way, effectively engaging tourists from pre-trip to post-trip,

“We will continue to expand our partnerships with local businesses and service providers to leverage Alipay+ D-store to reinvent the brand experience for tourists,” he added.

It is noted that the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) expects Chinese tourist arrivals in 2023 to reach 30 percent to 60 percent of pre-Covid-19 pandemic numbers of about 3.6 million visitors a year from China.

Alipay is an e-wallet partner of Alipay+, an Ant Group-operated global cross-border digital payments and marketing solutions, which connects merchants with multiple e-wallets and payment methods.

The Alipay platform has connected over 80 million businesses with more than one billion consumers.

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