Stores accepting China's Alipay seen doubling in Japan
Online payment system aims to expand to regional airports, shops
TOKYO -- The number of stores accepting Alipay in Japan will double to 45,000 this year, CEO Genki Oka of the Japanese unit of China's Ant Financial Services Group told The Nikkei on Tuesday.
Ant Financial, an affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, aims to extend Alipay use to places like small-town shopping districts as a growing number of Chinese tourists travel beyond Japan's cities.
Alipay claims some 450 million users, and its acceptance in Japan has grown primarily in places frequented by Chinese tourists such as department stores, pharmacies and electronics stores.
In an effort to expand usage, Ant Financial Japan will call on independent shops to adopt Alipay payment terminals as well as distribute items such as stickers with QR codes that shoppers scan to make a payment using Alipay. It also is targeting shops in regional airports in prefectures such as Hiroshima and Hokkaido.