Maldives Signs MoU to Promote WeChat Pay

Photo: MMPRC

The Maldives government has signed a three-year deal with Tencent Holdings, making WeChat Pay available to Chinese tourists visiting the country. WeChat Pay, also known as Weixin Pay in China, is a payment feature integrated into the WeChat app. As of 2023, WeChat had approximately 1 billion active users.

During yesterday’s ITB China 2024 event, Zihuny Rasheed, Deputy Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation (MMPRC/Visit Maldives), and Etienne Ng, Weixin Pay’s Regional Director for Southeast Asia, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) pledging to support more Maldivian merchants in accepting WeChat Pay.

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“China is a key source of tourists for the Maldives, and we greatly value the experience of Chinese visitors,” said Zihuny, adding that MMPRC plans on promoting WeChat Pay throughout the country to offer Chinese tourists a familiar payment option.

Etienne Ng reveals that WeChat Pay is currently undergoing a pilot phase at critical locations, including airport duty-free stores and popular restaurants like Sala Thai and City Garden. 

Additionally, 13 hotels and resorts, such as JEN Maldives Malé by Shangri-La, Adaaran Select HudhuranFushi, and Conrad Maldives, are participating in the initiative.

With robust support from the Bank of Maldives and local merchants, the initiative is projected to expand to encompass 8,000 merchants nationwide, according to a press release shared by MMPRC today.

This partnership follows the Agreement on Mutual Exemption of Visa Requirements signed between the Maldives and China in February 2023, contributing to an uptick in Chinese tourist arrivals to the Maldives. In 2023, the Maldives welcomed over 1.8 million tourists, with the Chinese market emerging as the top source market. As of May 11th, 2024, China remains the leading source market, with 91,073 tourist arrivals.

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