(Yicai Global) May 13 -- Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak attended the signing ceremony for a tripartite agreement between Malaysia Digital Economy Corp., the government of Hangzhou andAlibaba Group Holding Ltd. [NYSE:BABA] yesterday.
Execution of the agreement marked the inauguration of the two ‘digital hubs’ of the Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) -- the Malaysian digital free trade area and the Hangzhou cross-border e-commerce pilot zone. The ancient trade route from Hangzhou to Malaysia will soon become the first ‘digital commerce road’ under the eWTP framework.
At the event, Najib gave the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC Malaysia) certificate to Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma. The document will expedite the introduction of the Chinese e-commerce giant’s cloud computing, big data and artificial intelligence technologies to the Southeast Asian country. Najib praised these Chinese technologies for driving economic growth in his country.
With the approval of the Malaysian central bank, six major local banks and their clients have started accepting remittance by Alipay (an e-payment service operated by Alibaba), and 80 percent of convenience stores will follow suit this month. Shopping malls, amusement parks and airports will jump on the bandwagon later.
Alipay is expected to be mainstream in the country by the end of next year. “Through more exposure to Chinese consumers, Malaysian retailers and the public will get a better understanding of the convenience and advantage of cashless payment,” said Zhang Dayong, head of Alipay’s Southeast Asia division.
Alibaba launched its first eWTP ‘pilot’ outside China in Malaysia on March 2. The global e-commerce leader has worked with Malaysia Digital Economy since then to create a ‘digital free trade district’ integrating logistics, payment, customs clearance and data analysis.