Grab Adds Alipay to Tap into Chinese Tourism

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Grab adds Alipay in Southeast Asia

Source: Google images

Following Uber’s move last May, Grab adds Alipay, China’s largest digital payment service, to support its taxi on-demand services in Southeast Asia to tap into Chinese tourism.

Grab only began accepting credit card and digital payments this year — it started out resolutely cash only. Visitors from China made Southeast Asia the world’s fastest growing tourism region, as Skift recent reported.

Grab’s move mirrors the efforts of Alibaba and other Chinese consumer companies who want to follow the money into Southeast Asia.

The addition of Alipay is unlikely to make a huge impact on Grab’s business initially  since the app is very much localized in each of its six countries in Southeast Asia, thus a huge roadblock for Chinese tourists, particularly when Uber sells itself as an easy international option.

However, as part of its alliance with Ola, Lyft and Didi Chuxing, Grab is working to link its service with that of Didi. The integration between Didi and Grab is expected before the end of this year.

Grab, which has raised over $650 million from investors including SoftBank and Didi, is initially making Alipay available for users in Singapore and Thailand, two hugely popular destinations for Chinese tourists, but it plans to expand it across its other markets.

A version of this appeared in Techcrunch on June 21. Read the full article here.