Chinese Households Use Mobile Payments More than Cash for Daily Expenditures


A new report on China’s third party mobile payments sector indicates that Chinese households use mobile payments far more than cash for daily expenditures, while Alipay and Tencent enjoy near-exclusive market dominance.

On 28 January Beijing-based market consultancy Ipsos released its “2018 Fourth Quarter Third Party Mobile Payments User Research Report” (2018四季度第三方移动支付用户研究报告), which points to a mobile payments penetration rate of 94.7% amongst China’s mobile internet users, for a projected user base of approximately 990 million.

According to the report Tencent’s Tenpay and Alibaba-affiliate Alipay enjoy a combined user penetration rate of 93.3%, almost commensurate with the overall mobile payments penetration rate of 94.7%.

The user penetration rate for Tenpay was 86.4%, for a user base of approximately 910 million, while Alipay’s user penetration rate is 70.9%, for a user base of around 740 million.

The report further points out that mobile payments have emerged as the leading method of payment for daily living expenses in China, including travel, shopping, entertainment and fees.

Chinese households use third party payments system for 54% of daily living expenses, with mobile payments accounting for 42% and online payments 12%.

In sharp contrast Chinese households use cash for the payment of just 21% of daily living expenses.

Data from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology indicates that as of the end of November 2018 China was host to 1.39 billion mobile internet users, for YoY growth of 10.7%.