ISTANBUL — China’s third-party payment platform WeChat Pay, run by Chinese tech giant Tencent, was launched in Turkey on Tuesday.

Speaking at an online signing ceremony, Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said the payment service is first offered in Turkey’s Istanbul Airport, and later it will be used in different parts of the country.

He said Turkey is an important destination for Chinese tourists and the system will make the visit of Chinese travelers to Turkey more comfortable.

Cui Wei, the Chinese consul general in Istanbul, said the project further strengthened the economic cooperation between the two countries.

Last year, 426,000 Chinese tourists visited Turkey, with an 8.2 percent year-on-year increase, he said.

The WeChat Pay was introduced to Turkey with a joint effort of the Turkish subsidiary of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and Tencent, according to a press release issued after the ceremony.

The Istanbul Airport served 64 million passengers over the last year after it became operational in April 2019.

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