Tencents founder Pony Ma revealed recently that WeChat has gotten the licence to operate its mobile wallet in Malaysia, making the country its first stop in an overseas expansion bid.
WeChat wallet is playing catch-up to Alipay, which started expanding overseas in 2015. Alipay is already available in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam in S.E. Asia, with over 50k merchants accepting it at point-of-sale in these countries. Worldwide it is avail in 30 countries.
Both mobile wallets are targeted at only mainland tourists for now. Alipay stats revealed that the average Chinese tourist spent CNY 1,480 (USD 233) using its service. About 3.7m users have use it to check local deals and entertainment info, making it a great channel for local merchants to promote to Chinese tourists.
WeChat says it has about 20m users in Malaysia.