An Overview of Popular Online Payment Methods in China

How to get paid by your Chinese customers

Posted by Ryan

Latest update: 21 August 2017

How to be paid timely and safely is a major concern to foreign businesses that want to enter China, especially when you do ecommerce.

Some clients of ours decided to go with credit cards like they did in other countries when they first came to China. This, unfortunately, was a bad choice that shuts the door to many potential customers when they had just happily picked some items, rushed to the shopping cart and was going to pay.

What do the Chinese people use to make payments online?

The landscape of online payment methods in China has changed dramatically since we updated the article last time.

Based on data of Q1, 2017, Alipay keeps leading the market with a market share of 34.71%. Union Pay is not left behind too much with 22.44%, while Tencent Finance takes a market share of 15.37%.

The top 3 take a total market share of 72.52%.

Below is a pie chart that illustrates the market share of online payment services regarding transaction volume in Q1, 2017.

Market share of online payment methods in China

Payment Method Market Share
Alipay 34.71%
Union Pay 22.44%
Tencent Finance 15.37%
99Bill 7.55%
China PnR 6.48%
YeePay 3.72%
Huanxun IPS 3.23%
Others 2.0%

Data source: 易观智库 (Analysys)

What payment methods should your online store support?

The ultimate combination is Alipay + Union Pay.

If you run a mobile store, especially a WeChat store, add Tencent Finance (WeChat Pay) to your payment method list too.

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