Ant Financial’s Alipay is expanding its reach in the U.S. beyond tourists to connect with the growing local Chinese consumer community for everyday purchases.

Han Feng, a North Carolina-based supplier to Chinese supermarkets and restaurants, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Alipay that could pave the way for Han Feng’s 14,000 U.S.-based merchants to accept payment via Alipay, the companies said in a Wednesday press release.

Beginning with a pilot program reaching merchants using Han Feng's services in New York and North Carolina, consumers using the Alipay app will be able to find nearby merchants that accept the popular Chinese mobile wallet, and receive coupons for local deals, according to the announcement.

Alipay signage
Bloomberg News

Alipay, which has 520 million users in China, has been steadily expanding its reach in North America over the last two years, beginning with merchants primarily serving Chinese tourists.

Through a partnership formed last year with First Data and also through separate agreements with tourism agencies and airports in key regions popular with Chinese tourists, Alipay now reaches thousands of merchants across North America.

“By pairing Han Feng’s extensive reach within the Chinese consumer market with the familiarity of the Alipay platform, both Chinese consumers and the merchants that provide them with services will benefit from this partnership,” said Souheil Badran, president of Alipay North America.

The deal offers benefits to participating merchants.

“By maximizing Alipay’s visibility to the U.S. consumer, we are also bringing our merchant partners access to a new revenue stream,” said Jonathan Ni, Han Feng’s chief financial officer.

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