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Alibaba ties up with JR Kyushu to boost Chinese tourism

Jack Ma, executive chairman of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., speaks at a press conference in Bangkok, on April 19, 2018. (Kyodo)

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) -- Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. said Monday it has teamed up with Kyushu Railway Co. to help more Chinese tourists visit Japan's southwestern main island.

The Chinese e-commerce giant is hoping to expand the use of its Alipay mobile payment system in the region. It will introduce more information on tourist spots, hot springs and local foods through its travel service platform "Fliggy."

The Japanese railroad company, known as JR Kyushu, will design attractive tourist routes for Chinese tourists and prepare sightseeing trains for them, according to Alibaba.

Alipay, a widely accepted smartphone payment platform in China, is already usable at drug stores and some other outlets operated by a JR Kyushu's group company.

To encourage Chinese visitors to spend while on holiday, the railway company plans to push other firms in the region to introduce the popular payment system.

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