Chinese tourists are all about mobile payments

Nearly all Chinese travelers (91%) would be more willing to shop and spend at overseas merchants that accepted Chinese mobile payments, according to a new Nielsen report, jointly released by Nielsen and Alipay of 2,600 Chinese nationals.

Additional findings include:

  • 65% of Chinese tourists have used mobile payment while traveling overseas, compared with only 11% of non-Chinese tourists.
  • The majority (83%) of Chinese tourists would ask whether or not a local merchant supports mobile payments while abroad.
  • Shopping was ranked the number one category for Chinese tourists spending overseas (25%) over accommodation (19%) and dining (16%). Non-Chinese respondents ranked shopping third (15%) in favor of spending on accommodations (29%) and dining (18%).

Statistics from the China National Tourism Administration show that Chinese tourists made 131 million trips overseas in 2017, an increase of 7% from 2016. The International Association of Tour Managers estimates that Chinese tourists spent $261.1 billion on overseas travel in 2016, up 4.5% from the prior year and ranking these tourists first worldwide in terms of spending on overseas travel. Alipay is China’s leading online payment provider and the primary means of online and mobile payments for Chinese consumers.

These results indicate that Chinese travelers are looking for merchants that accept familiar mobile payment methods and are ready to spend more shopping at those merchants that do. North American retailers and brands should consider the enormous sales opportunity available to them by offering Chinese-friendly mobile payments.

Souheil Badran, President, Alipay Americas

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