Asia Unhedged | China now largest mobile payments market in the world and growing fast
A picture illustration shows a WeChat app icon in Beijing, December 5, 2013. Photo: Reuters, Petar Kujundzic
A picture illustration shows a WeChat app icon in Beijing, December 5, 2013. Photo: Reuters, Petar Kujundzic
Asia UnhedgedReal-time intel on what moves markets

China now largest mobile payments market in the world and growing fast

As the dust settles Alibaba and Tencent look like the last players standing

April 7, 2017 8:20 PM (UTC+8)

According to consulting firm iResearch, China’s mobile payment transactions tripled last year to US$5.5 trillion, making the country the largest mobile payments platform in the world.

Alibaba’s Alipay accounts for a whopping 50% of that number, with Tencent’s TenPay not far behind at 38.1%, followed by a crowded house of other hopefuls.

China mobile payments
Source: Analysys, Australian Financial Review

But TenPay, which is integrated with Tencent’s WeChat, China’s most popular instant messaging platform, is rising fast. Some international retailers are dropping their shops on Alibaba’s T-Mall and Taobao in favor of WeChat stores.

Australian Financial Review reports that Christian Dior and Woolworths have switched to Tencent’s platform from Alibaba’s, and ASX-listed SmartTrans Holdings has gone a step further, opening its Chine e-commerce offerings entirely on the WeChat platform.

Apple Pay and other upstarts in the China mobile payments market will have a hard time gaining any traction, but Alibaba’s dominance of the market is far from guaranteed with WeChat fast on their tail.

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