Alipay, the Chinese digital payment arm of Alibaba, announced news that it has teamed up with online review website Yelp to bring Yelp’s local content to millions of Chinese travelers directly within Alipay’s mobile lifestyle and payment app.
In a press release, Alipay said that with the beta launch, any of Alipay’s more than 520 million users visiting North American cities, such as New York City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Francisco, can now easily discover, plan, make reservations, share experiences and pay for them via online payments at any local business using Yelp’s content. Additional cities and countries will be added in 2017, Alipay said in the release.
“Our partnership with Yelp expedites our goal toward a digital lifestyle and represents a substantial opportunity for U.S. businesses to connect with the growing audience of Chinese travelers that would otherwise be difficult to reach,” said Souheil Badran, President, Alipay, North America, in the press release. “Alipay is already the trusted lifestyle app for Chinese consumers at home, and our growing suite of location-based content and services will continue to elevate their experiences when they travel abroad.”
Through the Alipay app’s Discover tab, travelers from China can use Yelp to find local restaurants, bars and shops, get directions, read review snippets in English, make reservations, as well as make mobile and online payments in Chinese yuan at retailers that accept Alipay.
“Yelp content is more important than ever in delivering a locally aware mobile experience for travelers and locals alike,” said Chad Richard, SVP Corporate and Business Development at Yelp, in the same press release. “By collaborating with Alipay, we can help Chinese consumers find the perfect place to eat, shop, drink, relax and play when they’re visiting the United States.”
According to Alipay, consumers from China are traveling to the U.S. in record numbers, with the number of Chinese travelers coming to American cities, such as New York City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Francisco, set to increase to four million.