The seven-day National Day holiday is a great chance for Chinese office workers to travel overseas. After returning, many people cannot be bothered going to a bank to exchange the small amounts of foreign currency that are left over – but they are still left with loose change that they cannot spend. Chinese tech giant Baidu has offered a solution to this situation.
This week Baidu announced that the company’s online payment platform, Baidu Wallet, is collaborating with Israeli currency exchange solutions provider TravelersBox, allowing returning travelers to exchange their leftover foreign currency into RMB.
Baidu confirmed with AllChinaTech that the collaboration began in early August.
Specifically, with an email address and a Baidu Wallet account, users can deposit their foreign currency into special TravelersBox exchange machines located at five airports, in Canada, Italy, Japan and the Philippines. The money is changed to RMB and saved into the users’ Baidu Wallet accounts.
By the end of 2016, this service will expand to another six airports, including in Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand, according to Baidu.
The mobile payment market in China is currently dominated by China’s tech giants, with Alibaba’s Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Payment well entrenched in the market. Baidu is a tech giant in its own right, but it still may be a solid strategic choice for Baidu to explore unreached sectors, like online currency exchange.
According to the China National Tourism Administration, China has seen 127 million inbound and outbound trips in the first half of 2016. Specifically, Chinese travelers have made 59 million outbound trips during the same time period.
In August, Baidu Wallet came up with a service to help travelers apply for visas to over 30 countries and regions, including Britain, France, Japan and America.
(Top photo from Pixabay.com)