China is expected to triple mobile payment transactions in 2021
Updated 21:26, 10-Nov-2018
By CGTN's Du Zhongyan
China is expected to triple the mobile payment transactions in 2021 and hit 790 trillion yuan (113 trillion US dollars), according to the market research firm Research and Markets. Mobile payment transactions rose to 295 trillion yuan (42 trillion US dollars) last year, up 41 percent from 2016. 
A recent survey by Forbes shows that over 70 percent of global consumers are using e-payment apps, and China is one of the world's leading players in the area of mobile payments. This payment is described as one of the “Four New Inventions,” along with high-speed railway, shared bicycles and online shopping. 
People are using it everywhere, from supermarkets to restaurants, from taxis to high-speed railways, and even at snack stands and vegetable markets. Online payment service platforms Alipay and WeChat Pay backed respectively by tech giants Alibaba and Tencent constitute a combined 93 percent in China's digital payment market, accounting for 54 percent and 39 percent respectively. 
“China is moving into a cashless society. I can basically pay for anything [with mobile payment], including taxi, health care or anything that you want. And I am more afraid now to break my phone when I am out,” said China Radio International's anchor Jessica Luo, who has been living here for nine years.
China is not the exploiter in this area. But the fancy payment is gaining more popularity in China than other areas in the world. One of the reasons behind that fast-moving pace is China's low popularity rate in using credit cards. According to a recent report from Goldman Sachs, only one third of Chinese have credit cards, which provides a huge development space.
Wechat Pay of Tencent is widely used in China. /VCG Photo

Wechat Pay of Tencent is widely used in China. /VCG Photo

While keeping a firm hold on the domestic market, Alibaba and Tencent are seeking to expand their global footprint. Data shows Alipay had obtained payment licenses in 36 countries by the end of 2017 while WeChat Pay got over 20, partly due to the booming outbound tourism industry and such favorable policies as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Meanwhile, several Chinese banks are teaming up with tech firms to launch their own mobile payment apps. For example, China UnionPay NFC QuickPass could be used on over 600,000 POS terminals in 16 countries and regions. Officials say expanding their presence in overseas markets will remain a top priority for them in 2018.