Chinese e-payments provider Alipay has extended its Asian footprint to Lotte.com, South Korea’s leading online shopping mall, in a deal that will allow Chinese shoppers to purchase products from Korea while paying in renminbi using their Alipay accounts.
Chinese consumers are already Lotte.com’s largest group of overseas users by visitor volume, according to website officials. “With this partnership, Chinese consumers will no longer have to travel to Korea to buy what they want, they can now order Korean products on Lotte.com and have them delivered to their doorstep,” said Kiki Wu, head of Alipay Business Development in Korea, in a press release. Korean goods popular with mainland buyers include cosmetics, apparel and healthcare products.
Lotte.com began offering Alipay as a payment option in late April, becoming the latest Asian shopping site to do so. Earlier this year, Japan’s Rakuten and British e-commerce website ASOS added Alipay as a payment option. Yahoo Japan will also begin accepting Alipay in June.
An affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, Alipay is China’s most-used electronic payments provider, and has agreements with more than 1,500 overseas merchants from over 34 countries and regions. Adding Alipay as a payment option benefits e-tailers by allowing them to enlarge their market presence in China without directly entering the country’s e-commerce sector.
Alipay’s expansion into Asia through tie-ups with regional e-commerce firms comes at a time when increasingly sophisticated Chinese consumers are seeking a variety of products not available domestically by shopping across borders via the Web.
According to a Paypal and Nielsen survey, China last year had 18 million online cross-border shoppers who spent RMB 216 million ($35 million). By 2018, the number of Chinese cross-border shoppers is expected to double to 36 million, and the amount they spend is projected to hit RMB 1 trillion ($160 billion).