Alipay, China’s top mobile wallet app, hit record highs in 2016 for the amount its 450 million users spent online or in stores. The app’s biggest group of spenders, the people of Shanghai, paid out an average US$20,400 last year, said the Alibaba spin-off company today.
Those Shanghai shoppers spent 1.5 times more than in 2015.
The average middle class wage in Shanghai is US$35,000, but this doesn’t account for undisclosed income such as from property rented out.
Alipay can be used on many of the nation’s top online shopping sites – including all Alibaba’s marketplaces – as well as at stores of all sizes, from Walmart to your local noodle shop. It’s also used for transferring money to family or friends, and features a number of financial services including a personal savings fund and small loans.
The app’s main rival is WeChat, which contains features for online and in-store cashless payments. Apple Pay is another contender.
Hey big spender
The new trove of data comes weeks after the app hit a record high of 1 billion transactions in a single day.
Some other highlights from Alipay’s year:
- 71 percent of Alipay transactions were conducted on mobile devices, up from 2015’s 65 percent.
- Cash-strapped millennials, in China classified as those born in the 1990s, spent an average of US$1,080 through the app.
- Gen Y, those born in the 1990s, averaged US$1,590.
- Top ten destinations outside China where Alipay was used for in-store shopping: South Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, and Germany. The company has been getting airports, major malls, and top restaurants on board so that China’s record 133 million overseas tourists can still use the app.
- The single biggest overseas spender splurged US$38,900.
- 2.3 billion Alipay transactions were put on the slate by using the built-in Ant Credit Pay, allowing for payment in installments, up 344 percent from 2015.
- Alipay’s small loans service, Jiebei, issued loans worth US$43.4 billion to 12 million users.
Alipay’s rise is not surprising as China’s shoppers lead the world in paying for things with their phones, with 195 million people using a mobile wallet by the end of 2016, according to the analysts at eMarketer. As a percentage of the population, it’s twice the rate of adoption in the US.
Converted from Chinese yuan. Rate: US$1 = RMB 6.92.
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