Alipay has launched its “Double 12” Global Shopping Festival in Australia for the first time in partnership with Westfield.

Less well known than Double 11 or Singles’ Day, Double 12 could also be big business for Australian retailers. Held annually on the 12th of December, Double 12 is Alipay’s flagship shopping event where online retailers and stores offer discounts to Alipay users.

From today Alipay users at Westfield Sydney will be offered exclusive discounts throughout December and early January. Shoppers using Alipay at Westfield Sydney on December 12 will also be in the running for a number of lucky draw prizes.

Owned by Alibaba’s financial affiliate Ant Financial, Alipay is accepted by 8000 merchants in Australia and New Zealand, including Chemist Warehouse, JR Duty Free and WHSmith. The digital wallet allows Australian retailers to offer a familiar payment method to Chinese tourists.

According to Tourism Australia, in the year ending 30 June 2017, almost 1.2 million Chinese tourists visited Australia, injecting AUD$9.8 billion into the economy. It is expected that more than 3.3 million Chinese tourists will be visiting Australia each year by 2026 and the Chinese tourism market could be worth up to AUD$13 billion by 2020.

“Alipay’s partnership with Westfield Sydney is the first of its kind in Australia and we couldn’t be more pleased to be able to bring customers a real taste of the Double 12 shopping experience,” said George Lawson Alipay Australia Country Manager.

“Chinese tourists and Chinese residents living in Australia are using Alipay at record levels and we are very excited to reach even more customers through our partnership with Westfield.”

Following its launch into the Australian market in 2015 Alipay has been seeking opportunities to engage with Australian retailers forming partnerships across a number of sectors including aviation, banking and retail.

“Our aim is to provide a seamless payment and travel experience to millions of Alipay users. We will continue to launch further integrated campaigns to an ever growing network of retailers who accept Alipay which will enhance our user experience and bring more value to our merchant network in the region,” Lawson said.

Alibaba Group established Alipay in 2004 as an escrow service to address the lack of trust between online buyers and sellers. In 2011, Alipay was spun off from Alibaba Group and it is now the payment arm of Ant Financial.

Alipay currently has over 520 million active users in mainland China and over 10 million brick-and-mortar merchants now accept Alipay across China.

As well as a digital wallet it can be used to hail a taxi, book a hotel, buy movie tickets, pay utility bills, make appointments with doctors, or purchase wealth management products directly from within the app.

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