While Christmas has not been a part of traditional Chinese culture and is a working day in China, more and more Chinese tourists have been traveling to Finland’s northern province Lapland—“Santa Clause’s home”—to witness the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis. Polar tourism has become the new darling of China’s high-income population and has attracted a large number of Chinese tourists to the north and south poles.

Ctrip, one China’s largest travel sites, recently released China’s first annual “Chinese Polar Travel Report” shows that the number of Chinese tourists traveling to view the Northern Lights has increased 400% in 2017, compared with 2016. The strong market growth, on the one hand, is due to the Chinese travelers’ pursuit of exotic destinations, more challenging travel locations.

As more and more Chinese tourists visit European countries, Chinese mobile payment app Alipay’s coverage in the region is expanding. Finland’s biggest chain of department stores Stockmann agreed to install Alipay as one of its payment methods on this September preparing for Golden Week, a week-long national holiday in October. Payments made in European stores using the Alipay increased six-fold over in that period. 

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Eva Yoo

Eva Yoo is Shanghai-based tech writer. Reach her at evayoo@technode.com