Alipay, China’s premier digital payment platform and the primary online payment choice, is partnering with Millennium Hotels and Resorts. According to Hotel Management, “More than 600 million Chinese users can now pay using Alipay while visiting key Millennium Hotels and Resorts properties in the U.S., including Millennium Broadway New York Times Square, The Premier Times Square by Millennium, The Bostonian Boston, and Millennium Biltmore Los Angeles.” Online bookings, rooms, incidentals, and dining at these hotels will all be able to be paid for through Alipay.
This arrangement will likely attract many of the growing number of Chinese travelers to the Millennium Hotels during their visits to the United States. The ability to accept payments from Alipay makes sense, as Alipay is the top digital payment platform not only in China—it has bypassed PayPal in 2013 to become the largest online payment platform in the world. In 2017, Alipay partnered with American company First Data to offer access to American retailers. While Millennium Hotels and Resorts is based in London, the partnership with First Data is what opened the door to these Millennium Hotels properties in the U.S.
Alipay is owned by Ant Financial Services Group, an affiliate of Alibaba Group. Ant Financial runs not only Alipay, but also Ant Fortune, Ant Financial Cloud, MYbank, Sesame Credit, a credit rating system, and Yu’e Bao, the world’s largest money market fund, making it the world’s most valuable fintech company. With its facial recognition technology, Alipay is at the cutting edge of online payments as well as online security—an obviously ideal combination. With this kind of leverage, any business who partners with Alipay for their online payment needs will surely find it an ideal combination as well.