Chinese internet giant Tencent is partnering with Japanese social data provider Hotto Link to roll out its WeChat Pay service to 10,000 stores in Japan by the end of the year.
According to Nikkei Asia Review, only a few Japanese stores have adopted WeChat Pay, which is targeted at Chinese travellers who account for a quarter of all visitors to Japan and spend a lot more than other groups.
Tencent plans to expand to 20,000 stores in Japan and match China UnionPay cards, the most popular payment method for Chinese tourists in Japan, Nikkei reported.
The mobile payment service allows Japanese businesses to promote their products and service and offer discounts via Hotto Link’s page on WeChat. To get started, stores need to download an app on a tablet, which allows them to scan QR codes from customers’ smartphone screens. China Construction Bank handles clearing the transactions.
WeChat Pay also is available in Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore, popular destinations for Chinese tourists.
WeChat Pay, which is linked to China’s most popular WeChat messaging app, is used by more than 300 million users in China to pay for everything from taxi fares to convenience store purchases to utility bills. The payment service also works on China’s second-largest e-commerce platform, JD.com, in which Tencent has a 15 per cent stake. It is accepted at more than 300,000 stores in the mainland.