November 7, 2016

Partnership to pay off for Alipay and ePassi

Finland has been strongly on the radar for the Chinese recently.
Finland has been strongly on the radar for the Chinese recently.
Visit Finland / Jouni Porsanger

Finnish ePassi and Alipay, partially owned by Chinese retail giant Alibaba Group, have commenced co-operation to serve Chinese tourists in Finland.

Finnish retailers commenced using the joint system at the end of October.

Last year Chinese travellers were the largest spending tourist group to visit the country, with each individual spending approximately 650 euros during their trip. However, this falls significantly behind the sums spent in places where mobile payments are available, as Chinese tourists don’t use Western credit cards.

When retailers accept Alipay payments, the money will be transferred via a mobile app.

In order to further grease the wheels of expenditure, Alibaba collects data regarding its customers’ shopping habits and uses it for targeted marketing before departure.

“Currently, the data that Alibaba sales platform gets from business transactions is huge,” explains Paavo Virkkunen, head of Finpro’s Visit Finland unit. “The company is one of the most efficient users of big data.”

According to Virkkunen, this approach presents significant opportunities for the likes of Finnish design goods and fashion retailers in future.

Strategic development

Finland has been on the radar recently for the world’s largest retailer. Earlier this year, Finnair also announced a long-term strategic partnership with Chinese online travel platform Alitrip, also owned by the Alibaba Group.

Late last month, Alitrip held a special event in Finland where it launched its European plans. Finland is set to be one of the countries at the core of Alitrip’s travel offering. According to media reports, Alitrip has set a goal of bringing 50 000 tourists to Rovaniemi, the capital of Finnish Lapland, next year.

“This is a significant new opening for the Finnish travel industry,” Virkkunen observes. “It is a positive development and challenge, not only for Rovaniemi, but the whole of Finland. Travellers from China don’t want to go to one destination only, they want to see different places.”


Good News from Finland is published by Finnfacts, which is a part of Finpro.

Looking for more good news? Subscribe to our newsletter