Perhaps nowhere is the battle for Chinese tourists’ payments more obvious than in airports. For Alipay and WeChat Pay, presence in international airports is required to maintain the impression that their platforms genuinely are available in the international space. If these payment options aren’t even available in the most international of spaces—the airport—why would Chinese travelers feel confident about relying on these services for shopping and other payments during other parts of the trip?
Meanwhile, the battle for Chinese duty-free shopping has never been more intense. With duty-free shopping now available for Chinese tourists virtually everywhere in many destinations, airport retailers who previously relied on this core group of customers are under more significant pressure to innovate and provide a superior duty-free shopping experience than what is found at downtown duty-free retail stores. Embracing Chinese mobile payments is a noteworthy step in that direction or even a no-brainer for airport retailers who wish to cash in on the rising number of Chinese travelerstransiting through airports worldwide.