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Benefits to flow from the New Zealand China Business Forum

3 Dec 2017

Having Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s electronic payment system Alipay widely available in Wellington would benefit the region by making it easier for tourists from China to spend.

Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) Interim Chief Executive Derek Fry says this is one of the issues being raised at the New Zealand China Business Forum starting at 9.30am on Sunday 3 December at Te Papa’s Soundings Theatre.

“In China, most things are paid for through electronic payment platforms such as Alipay and WePay. Only 13 per cent of Chinese visitors to New Zealand have a credit card.

“Because Chinese tourists mostly arrive at Auckland Airport, Wellington has to work hard to get them to spend some of their New Zealand holiday in the capital. Having a payment system like Alipay in Wellington would certainly make it easier for Chinese tourists in the city.”

Alipay has 520 million users in China which is rapidly moving towards becoming a cashless society.

China is New Zealand’s second largest visitor market. However, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment says it will overtake Australia to become our largest market by 2023.

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester says that Wellington City is at the heart of New Zealand’s relationship with China.

“As the capital city, we are on the radar for all arrivals from China. Technologies such as Alipay can give Wellington the potential to be motivated and well-placed to provide the best tourism experience in New Zealand.”

Christchurch Airport signed a memorandum of understanding with Alibaba earlier this year to promote the Alipay platform, and potentially make it available across the South Island.

The Business Forum precedes the second New Zealand China Mayoral Forum on Monday 4 December, when 12 Chinese mayors and 38 New Zealand mayors will meet to discuss trade opportunities.

The Business Forum on Sunday includes presentations from Alibaba leaders on exporting to China and the Alibaba ecosystem, China’s solution for Smart Cities, as well as China’s outbound tourists.

Kicking off the event are guest speakers Sir Richard Taylor from the Weta Group of companies and Maggie Zhou, Managing Director of Alibaba Group in Australia and New Zealand.

The New Zealand China Mayoral Forum on Monday is hosted by Local Government New Zealand and Wellington City Council. LGNZ President Dave Cull says trade with China has tripled since 2007, to $23 billion in the June 2016 year, making the need for continued relationship building increasingly important.

“These political and business Forums are an excellent opportunity for both the country as a whole and the regions to enhance our relationships with New Zealand’s largest trading partner,” Mr Cull says.

“There is much to be gained for our communities in developing a greater understanding and appreciation of how China operates. The Forums provide a new sub-national engagement to further enhance and develop political and trade relations for the future.”


Note - The New Zealand China Business forum is being organised by WREDA and WCC.