Chinese Payment Platforms

Alipay and WeChat Pay are the major mobile payment players in China. Together, they account for more than 90 percent of the market share. With mobile payments becoming ubiquitous in China, the next frontier for Alipay and WeChat Pay is to make their services available overseas for Chinese travellers and eventually global customers.

What is revolutionary is that China has jumped directly from cash to mobile payments. It has skipped the process of using cheques and bank cards like what developed countries usually experience. Accepting Chinese UnionPay cards used to be the only prerequisite to satisfy Chinese outbound tourists, but mobile payments are changing the game entirely.


Alipay – the mobile payment market leader which accounts for near 70 percent of the market share, has the ambition to make payments more seamless for Chinese travelers at their overseas destinations. Introducing the “Airport of the Future” programme, Chinese travelers can now pay by Alipay in 10 overseas airports, including Germany, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, Singapore and Thailand.

Alipay has also entered strategic partnerships with local players in popular destinations for Chinese tourists, such as banking and retailers. Among its local partners are payment providers such as Ingenico, First Data, Worldpay and Verifone. Last year, Alipay has signed a series of global partnerships which allows Chinese customers to pay with Alipay in more than 930,000 merchants across Europe. Alipay’s obvious next step is to offer its payment services to international consumers, rather than simply to Chinese travellers and expats.

Chinese Payment Platform Alipay
Chinese Payment Platform WeChat Pay

WeChat Pay

WeChat Pay is also starting to form local partnership for its global expansion, even though it is lagging behind Alipay. WeChat Pay has recently partnered with InComm, a prepaid product and transaction services company in Japan. Through the new partnership, InComm leverages WeChat Pay barcodes to enable Chinese customers to make payments at more than 50,000 retail locations in Japan. WeChat Pay other known local partnerships including Kasikornbank in Thailand and Novatti Group – a mobile payment company in Australia.

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