WeChat Pay expanding global reach
China's Tencent partners with duty-free shops, resorts
YASUO AWAI, Nikkei staff writer
HONG KONG -- Tencent Holdings is stepping up efforts to make its WeChat Pay mobile payment service widely available overseas as more Chinese consumers travel abroad.
The Shenzhen-based internet giant has formed a number of partnerships to that end, including with operators of duty-free shops and resorts.
WeChat Pay's cross-border payment platform will provide retailers and other businesses a major opportunity to connect with Chinese consumers, said Stephen Wang, who is overseeing the service's global expansion. Wang, a co-founder of U.S. movie review website Rotten Tomatoes, joined Tencent in 2013.
Through a tie-up with Hong Kong-based duty-free shop operator DFS Group, Tencent has started a service that lets flyers order tax-free items online before reaching the airport and pick up their purchases before boarding. Advertisements are sent to users of Tencent's WeChat messaging app. The service is now available at airports in San Francisco and Honolulu.
In Singapore, Tencent has launched a service in cooperation with the country's tourism board, allowing travelers to receive discount coupons for 16 brands by shaking their smartphones at Marina Bay Sands, a resort complex.
The Chinese group has also teamed up with online payment support companies Stripe and Adyen.