Alipay, Ant Financial Group’s payment platform, announced Wednesday it had inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Han Feng Inc., a food supplier for Chinese restaurants and supermarkets in the U.S.
In a press release, Alipay said the MoU will enable Han Feng’s merchant partners to accept payment via Alipay, which currently has more than 520 million active users in China alone.
“Chinese consumers leverage Alipay as a lifestyle enabler and our partnership with Han Feng provides an experience that combines discovery and payment,” said Souheil Badran, president of Alipay North America. “By pairing Han Feng’s extensive reach within the Chinese consumer market with the familiarity of the Alipay platform, both Chinese consumers and the merchants that provide them with services will benefit from this partnership.”
Through the partnership, Han Feng’s 14,000 merchants will be able to better serve and connect with Chinese consumers in North America, starting with New York and North Carolina. Alipay will also enable users to find merchants nearby, receive coupons and make purchase decisions through the app’s “Discover” function.
“We are thrilled to partner with Alipay as Han Feng Group’s customer base offers a perfect initiating platform to promote Alipay services in the U.S.,” said Jonathan Ni, chief financial officer at Han Feng. “By maximizing Alipay’s visibility to the U.S. consumer, we are also bringing our merchant partners access to a new revenue stream.”
The news comes amid a flurry of recent Alipay deals. Late last month, real-time electronic payment and banking solutions provider ACI Worldwide announced the launch of Alipay in South Africa via regional payment service provider Peach Payments. Alipay is the world’s largest online and mobile payment platform. China is the world’s largest outbound tourism market, and adventure-seeking Chinese tourists are increasingly looking to African destinations. South Africa alone saw a 93 percent rise in Chinese arrivals in 2016.
According to a press release, City Sightseeing, which operates open-top “hop on, hop off” bus tours in Cape Town and Johannesburg, will be the first local merchant in Africa to offer Alipay.