May 20, 2020

Alipay launches Melbourne City card to connect business with tourists

Payment
Sydney
Melbourne
Fintech
Richard Blank
2 min
Alipay launches Melbourne City card to connect business with tourists

Mobile payment platform Alipay has announced a partnership with the Australian city of Melbourne to launch a Melbourne City Card.

The card will be aimed at connecting Chinese tourists with Melbourne businesses. China is said in the company’s press release to constitute Australia’s largest and most valuable tourist market, with over 1.4mn visitors spending over $12bn annually. Via the app’s interactive mobile map, users can identify locations which accept Alipay. Over one hundred retailers and tourist destinations in Melbourne are involved in the promotion.

City of Melbourne Small Business, Retail and Hospitality Portfolio Chair Councillor Susan Riley said: “I am pleased to welcome the introduction of the Melbourne City Card which helps connect Chinese visitors with boutique local stores, major brands and popular tourist destinations. Melbourne is a key tourist destination for Chinese visitors and the Melbourne City Card will offer them greater convenience and help them feel more welcome as they explore our city. The City of Melbourne has helped support businesses’ participation in the Melbourne City Card by connecting retailers with Alipay and holding a workshop on the app in May.”

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The move comes on the heels of a Sydney City Card launched in February, which achieved a 20% increase in Alipay users over the first month.

Country Manager of Alipay, Australia and New Zealand, George Lawson said: “Melbourne is a world-class tourist destination, and the launch today of the Melbourne City Card is aimed at promoting the city’s leading hotspots and merchants to Australia’s largest and most important tourism market. We have already seen from the success of the city card pilot in Sydney that this is a highly effective method of engaging with Chinese visitors both before and during their holidays. This partnership will further enhance Melbourne’s reputation as a fantastic tourist destination, and provide the best possible experience for Chinese visitors.”

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Jun 7, 2021

Business Chief Legend: Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek

hoching
legend
singapore
Temasek
3 min
Singaporean Ho Ching created the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia, before leading Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund to global success

Ask Singaporeans who Ho Ching is, and the majority will answer the ‘wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’. And that’s certainly true. However, she’s also the CEO of Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and one of the world’s largest investment companies.

Well, she is until October 1, 2021, as she recently announced she would be retiring following 16 years as CEO of the investment giant.

Since taking the reins in 2004, two years after joining Temasek as Executive Director, Ho has gradually transformed what was an investment firm wholly owned by Singapore’s Government into an active investor worldwide, splashing out on sectors like life sciences and tech, expanding its physical footprint with 11 offices worldwide (from London to Mumbai to San Francisco) and delivering growth of US$120 billion between 2010-2020.

Described by Temasek chairman Lim Boon Heng as having taken “bold steps to open new pathways in finding the character of the organisations”, Ho is credited with building Temasek’s international portfolio, with China recently surpassing Singapore for the first time.

As global a footprint as Ho may have however, she has her feet firmly planted on Singapore soil and is committed to this tiny city-state where she was not only educated (excluding a year at Stanford) but has remained throughout her long and illustrious career – first as an engineer at the Ministry of Defence in 1976, where she met her husband, and most notably as CEO of Singapore Technologies, where she spent a decade, and where she is credited with repositioning and growing the group into the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia.

It’s little wonder Ho has featured on Forbes’ annual World’s Most Powerful Women list for the past 16 years, in 2007 as the third most powerful woman in business outside the US, and in 2020 at #30 worldwide.

But it’s not all business. Ho has a strong track record in Singapore public service, serving as chairman of the Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research and as deputy chairman of the Economic Development Board; and is a committed philanthropist with a focus on learning difficulties and healthcare.

As the pandemic kicked off, she not only led active investments in technology and life sciences, with German COVID-19 vaccine developer BioNTech among the most recent additions to Temasek’s portfolio, but through the Temasek Foundation – the firm’s philanthropic arm which supports vulnerable groups close to Ho’s heart, handed out hand sanitiser and face masks.

So, you would be forgiven for thinking that at age 68, Ho might simply relax. But in March 2021, just as she announced her retirement from Temasek, Ho joined the Board of Directors of Wellcome Leap, a US-based non-profit organisation that’s dedicated to accelerating innovations in global health. Not ready to put her firmly grounded feet up yet it seems.

 

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