Tencent partners with Line to capitalise on Chinese tourism in Japan

Chinese tech conglomerate Tencent Holdings has partnered with Japanese chat application firm Line to bring mobile payments to Japanese retailers as the number of Chinese tourists visiting the country continues to grow

While Japanese shoppers show a preference for cash-based transactions, with Nikkei Asian Review (NAR) stating in June that cashless transactions only account for 18% of all transactions in Japan, while 60% of transactions in China are cashless.

The Tencent-Line partnership, reported by NAR, will see Line leasing payment terminals capable of taking WeChat payments to small retail and hospitality businesses across Japan, with the service set to launch in the new year.

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Financial Times said that news of the partnership boosted Line’s share price by around 17.2% in early Tokyo trading, with stock being up 12% the following day.

Alibaba recently teamed up with Yahoo Japan and SoftBank to offer its payment services in the Japanese market. According to South China Morning Post, Tencent’s WeChat Pay and Alibaba’s Ant Financial Services’ Alipay cover more than 90% of domestic mobile payments in China.

NAR noted that Japanese government data shows around 7.35mn Chinese tourists visited Japan in 2017, a threefold increase on the figure in 2014.

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