Published on : Friday, November 8, 2013
Chinese Internet companies are getting high demand in the US. Tencent, Alibaba, and UC Web are creating big-dollar investments in US startups, successful IPOs for travel portal Qunar and classifieds site 58.com have added the anticipations for Chinese tech companies going public in the US.
Ecommerce giant Alibaba, is itself likely to soon file to go public, is extending its payments platform, Alipay, in the US. Moreover, Alipay is almost equal to PayPal, announced a joint venture with UATP, a payments service used by most of the world’s global airlines, and accepted by thousands of merchants for air, rail, hotel, and travel agency payments. The joint venture opens up these travel businesses to the vast and growing Chinese tourism market. Chinese consumers will be able to book and pay for their travel on international websites using their Alipay accounts. There are 800 million such accounts.
The UATP deal comes soon after Alipay forged a similar partnership with American online retailer iHerb, which was declared in September. In an interview with Internet Retailer, iHerb marketing director John McCarthy said the deal had made China one of its top 10 markets.
Such collaborations could bring prosperous rewards to both Alipay and US ecommerce companies. While Alipay profits from greater global reach, the American companies suddenly become more accessible to a large and upwardly mobile group of Chinese consumers.
China is the world’s highest spender on tourism, topping $100 billion in travel spending last year, compared to the US and Germany, both of which topped out at around $80 billion. As China’s middle class grows, you can expect that travel spend figure to increase along with it.