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Marriott to expand Alipay acceptance

By Shi Jing in Beijing | China Daily USA | Updated: 2015-09-08 11:23

Marriott International Inc, the United States hotel brand, is to allow the use of Alipay, the online payments service owned by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, at its hotels and resorts.

Guests and clients will be able to use the system for reservations, in food and beverage outlets, and for conferences at Marriott hotels.

The payment method, operated by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial, will first be introduced to 10 Marriott hotels in Shanghai and Beijing, in Sanya, Hainan and Hong Kong.

By the middle of 2016, the hotel group's sites in Asia will be connected to Alipay and the application will be introduced to all Marriott hotels by the end of next year.

Craig Smith, president and managing director of Marriott Asia Pacific, called the project revolutionary for hoteliers, tourists and conference organizers, as they will be able to complete payments via mobile devices.

He said the fact Alipay has an 80 percent share of China's mobile payments was the biggest appeal for Marriott.

Peng Yijie, president of international business at Ant Financial, said: "We have chosen to work with Marriott because of its highly celebrated brand image as well as its grand expansion plans both in Asia and the world.

"This is what we are looking for in our strategy."

According to the latest Chinese International Travel Monitor 2015, released by hotel online reservation system, 59 percent of outbound Chinese tourists rated online payment methods such as Alipay as the second-most important hotel service when traveling abroad, second only to the availability of Wi-Fi services.

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