Chinese third-party mobile payments reached 38 trillion yuan in 2016: data

By Du Yifei -Mareeg-Driven by the explosive growth of Internet finance, China is now witnessing a boom on mobile payment market. Data showed that value of Chinese third-party mobile payments has tripled to 38 trillion yuan ($5.5 trillion) in 2016.


With the popularity of mobile payment, the Chinese people can enjoy life without cash or cards as what they need is a mobile device.



Even the farmers and herdsmen living in the remotest villages in Tibet can now use their cell phones to purchase daily necessities online since local administrative villages have been completely covered by communication signal.


A survey by Nieslen, a US-headquartered global information, data, and measurement company, showed that about 86 percent of Chinese consumers paid for online purchases with mobile apps, far outnumbering that of other countries.


A Financial Times report said that the value of Chinese third-party mobile payments has  tripled to 38 trillion yuan in 2016, nearly 50 times greater than that in the US in the same period.


About 60 percent of Chinese consumers who use mobile payments enjoy paid via mobile apps every week, although most of those transactions are in small amounts, said the report released by China’s Payment & Clearing Association.


Experts pointed out that the mobile payments brings great convenience to the small and micro-businesses. Without complicated procedures or threshold, it can accelerate the transaction efficiency.


Such service can also complement the payment systems provided by big financial institutions, experts added.


The mobile payments have reached China’s urban and rural areas in a balanced way.


The third-party payment has not only transformed the consumption habits of Chinese people, but also helped upgrade the online, telephone and other banking services, said Yin Zhentao, deputy director of the Research Center for Financial Law and Regulation under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, adding that such services lowered the transaction cost and motivated the vitality of entity businesses as a result.


Seeing the business opportunities, quite a number of Internet finance companies have begun to test water in the overseas market.


Alipay, a third-party online payment platform run by Ant Financial Services Group, an affiliate company of Alibaba Group, is now providing online payment and tax refund services for overseas Chinese tourists by teaming up with local payment agencies and businesses.


The platform, at the same time, has inked cooperation deals with payment service providers in countries like the U.S., the UK, Germany, France, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Russia and Brazil.


The “Internet finance” has been included in Chinese government’s work report for three consecutive years since 2014. It is expected that topics related to the agenda, including risk prevention and development direction, will be discussed at this year’s annual sessions of the National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference as well.


More consumers choose to use mobile payment. (Photo by the official website of Alipay)

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Mareeg senior news editor since 2001 and he can be reached at