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WeChat Pay, one of China's biggest mobile payment platforms, is set to expand its presence in Singapore next month at more than 600 retail outlets.|
From November 1, Cold Storage, Giant, Guardian and 7-Eleven stores across Singapore will start accepting payments through the Tencent-operated platform.
The initiative was announced by Singapore Dairy Farm (the regional parent company of the four brands) and Singaporean mobile payment company NETS, which offers cashless QR payment services at more than 55,000 terminals across the country.
Chinese nationals based in Singapore or visiting the country as tourists will be able to scan NETS QR code terminals in the 600 retail outlets with WeChat Pay, with transactions conducted in yuan based on the point-of-sale foreign exchange rate.
Dairy Farm and NETS said in their statement that the cooperation with WeChat Pay would help serve the growing number of Chinese tourists visiting Singapore.
According to the Singapore Tourism Board, arrivals from China in 2017 were up by 13 percent on the previous year, reaching 3.2 million.
While WeChat Pay and its rival, Alibaba's Alipay, have ventured overseas into several countries, the services are only available to Chinese nationals.
In July, Tencent said that it was not currently planning to offer its services to foreign nationals, with the focus to remain on China's outbound tourism sector.
Grace Yin, director of international operations for WeChat Pay, told the RISE Technology Conference in Hong Kong that "We don't have many WeChat users in overseas countries so we should accept that it will be hard to develop payment tools for them."
WeChat Pay services are currently available in 40 countries and regions worldwide, catering to a Chinese tourism sector that made over 130 million outbound trips in 2017, spending an estimated 115 billion US dollars overseas, according to data from the Chinese Tourism Academy.