China's leading mobile and online payment service Alipay launched its operations in Norway on Monday to boost Chinese customers' shopping experience in the Nordic country.
"The adoption of Alipay services of both payment and marketing will not only enhance the experience of Chinese consumers but also help Norwegian businesses reach out to their Chinese customers," said Michael Chen, CEO of APay Nordic AS, a promotion and service partner of Alipay in the Nordic countries.
Alipay, which currently has over 520 million users and is operated by Ant Financial, part of Alibaba Group, is a powerful combination of payment tools, financial services and marketing platforms.
"Alibaba has been launching its payment services Alipay in Europe since 2016. We are honored to be the one introducing it to Norway as well as the other Nordic countries," Chen said at a press conference in Oslo.
Per Holte, head of tourism in Asia and Latin America at Innovation Norway, a government agency responsible for promoting innovation in Norway and marketing Norway's tourism on the world market, said China has become a very important market for the Norwegian tourist industry.
"Chinese tourists especially free independent tourists (FITs) in Norway have been increasing rapidly in the recent years," Holte said. "We have been working with GoDigitalChina on attracting FITs since 2016 with success."
APay Nordic AS was established jointly by GoDigitalChina, an Oslo-based company specialized in digital marketing in China, and Nordkost, a market leader in cross border e-commerce and logistics towards China.
"We are glad to see that they are now introducing Alipay into Norway, which will further strengthen the advantages of Norway as a Chinese-friendly destination," Holte said.
Dinnergruppen, a company with five high-end Asian restaurants in Olso, and The Thief Hotel, a luxury waterfront hotel in the Norwegian capital, are pioneering in adopting Alipay in Norway.
"We have this year noticed the significant increase of travelers from China. The Chinese market is increasingly important for us and so is our focus to deliver services to meet their expectations," said Daniel Setekleiv, Commercial Director at The Thief Hotel.
"By implementing Alipay, we are actively bringing ourselves closer to the Chinese market, both with guest experience and customer reach," he said.
Last year, Alipay was first introduced to Finland and the business was highlighted by a launching ceremony of the Single's Day global online shopping festival in Rovaniemi, an arctic tourist destination in northern Finland.