Alipay, China’s largest online payment service provider, opened its first-ever overseas customer center here in Seoul on Tuesday, a move that will help boost the Chinese firm’s market presence while also helping to attract more Chinese visitors to the country, a local trade agency said.
The Alipay service center is located at Seoul’s COEX exhibition center, and will provide various customer services to Chinese visitors ranging from online payment services to luggage storage and business lounge services, according to the Korea International Trade Association (KITA).
“The association will continue to expand its joint efforts with Alipay to support South Korean and Chinese start-up businesses, while also strengthening its marketing efforts for products from local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs),” KITA said in a press release.
A KITA official noted a number of shops at the COEX already allow Chinese visitors to make online payments using the Alipay platform.
“The number will certainly grow, along with the number of Chinese visitors to the COEX mall as Alipay will introduce its first overseas customer center located here to its Chinese users,” said Lee Joon-bong, an official from KITA’s Business to Consumer Support Department.
Alipay is said to be the largest online payment platform in China, with over 400 million users and just under a 50 percent share in China’s online payment market as of October 2016.
A memorandum of understanding for cooperation was also signed between KITA and Alipay on the sidelines of an opening ceremony for the Alipay customer center at COEX.