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Alipay kicking off Double 12 shopping festival

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.-affiliated online payment platform Alipay will hold its Double 12 shopping festival Dec. 12 across 15 countries including the U.S., the U.K., Australia, Thailand, Japan and Greater China.

More than 1 million merchants including restaurants and shopping malls have signed up for the event to offer exclusive promotions and discounts to customers making purchases using Alipay, the service said on its official Weibo account in China.

Participating merchants include The Venetian hotel and casino in Macau, the Mannings pharmacy chain in Hong Kong, Sephora cosmetics stores in France, the Rossmann drugstore chain in Germany and the Siam Paragon shopping center in Thailand.

Meanwhile, Alipay's partners in Hong Kong, Thailand, India and the Philippines will bring their users to the annual shopping event for the first time. Those partner e-wallet services include Paytm in India, TrueMoney in Thailand, GCash in the Philippines and AlipayHK, which debuted in Hong Kong in September in partnership with with CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd.

The Double 12 festival was created in 2011, after Alibaba launched its marquee Singles' Day annual shopping event in 2009.