Christchurch Airport signs MOU to help SMEs access Alibaba platform

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Christchurch Airport and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to help New Zealand businesses tap into Chinese e-commerce platform Alibaba. 

The MOU will see the parties work together to help small to medium-sized businesses from both regions sell products and services to hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers who use the range of digital platforms owned by the e-commerce giant. 

Christchurch Airport’s chief aeronautical and commercial officer Justin Watson said, “This is a great example of two large organizations – at either end of the country – working together to grow New Zealand’s collective tourism and export success. 

“In short, the MOU will enable Kiwi businesses to connect and do business with the record number of Chinese visitors coming to New Zealand – before, during and after their trip.” 

The MOU will focus on three key areas: growing Chinese visitors’ spend in New Zealand via Alipay; growing bookings via online travel store Fliggy; and encouraging micro-exporting opportunities through Tmall. 

ATEED’s general manager destination, Steve Armitage, commented, “China is a key market for Auckland’s visitor economy. This partnership will help make the Auckland region more accessible and appealing to these high-value visitors. 

“As Auckland’s economic growth and tourism promotion agency, this presents a fantastic opportunity for ATEED to help Auckland businesses gain access to the Chinese market. It will also make it easier for Chinese visitors to pre-book travel to Auckland, and utilize the platform for purchases when they are here.” 

Already, the airport’s world-first partnership with Alibaba has seen more than 3,000 businesses express an interest in becoming Alipay merchants. The next phases of the project will see the airport, through its South brand, launch stores on Fliggy and Tmall. 

Watson expects the new MOU will spark significant interest from businesses in and around Greater Auckland: “Alipay has 520 million Chinese users, Fliggy has 220 million members and Tmall Global has more than 515 million – this presents a huge opportunity for Kiwi businesses.” 

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With over a decade of experience as a business and technology journalist working in B2B publishing, Hazel first joined UKi in 2011. After taking 18 months off to bring up her daughter and try her hand at marketing copywriting, she returned in January 2018 to do what she loves best – magazine editing! She is now the editor of UKi's Passenger Terminal World and Parcel and Postal Technology International magazines.

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