Uber is now allowing its Chinese customers traveling overseas to pay their fares through Alipay.
The ride-sharing service has just entered a global partnership with Alibaba's Alipay in a move to tap into the growing number of Chinese overseas travelers.
While it is true that Uber already has presence in China, the company had previously required its Chinese customers who are traveling overseas to use a dual-currency credit card where they are billed in U.S. dollars. However, there are only a few of these cards that are in circulation, causing its potential user base to be limited.
With the new global partnership, Chinese overseas travelers can directly use Alipay to pay for their overseas bills in RMB currency, thereby eliminating the need to switch currencies.
The newly launched service will be initially available in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau as the three locations are closely linked with mainland China. According to the China National Tourism Administration, these three locations are among the top ten tourist destinations of travelers who are coming from China.
With more than 400 million users, Alipay is the most commonly used third-party payment platform tool in China. It has managed to build a cooperation with over 200 financial institutions. The service is currently accepted in more than 500,000 restaurants, 40,000 supermarkets, 300 hospitals and one million taxis in China.
Outside the mainland, Alipay is available in over 5,000 businesses located in the regions of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, while other global regions such as Europe, Asia and Australia accept Alipay with over 50,000 merchant partners. The company's refund service is also available in 24 countries.
Meanwhile, Uber is currently available in almost 400 cities spanning six continents and 68 countries and regions. According to Uber Asia Business Leader Eric Alexander, working with Uber Alipay is an excellent move for the company to develop its global business ties. The partnership will surely deliver an enhanced payment experience to mainland Chinese users when they travel around the world.
Back in October, Tech Times reported that Uber has taken its first step to localize its Chinese business after it registered Uber China in Shanghai as an independent entity. Known as Shanghai Wubo Information Technology, Uber said it has successfully earned the licenses and qualifications needed for its Internet company, which is being run by people from China as managers.