Understanding the ecosystem of Chinese payment systems is a prerequisite to setting up a successful sales strategy in this market. It is also one of the many aspects of Chinese market that is considerably different from what we are familiar with in other markets.

Relying on traditional payment systems such as credit cards or PayPal is simply not going to work in China. In fact, if you are planning to sell anything to Chinese consumers, there are only three viable options.

In the next series of posts, we are going to give an overview of three main Chinese payment systems that dominate the market: AliPay, WeChat Pay and Union Pay. Integrating any of them, or, preferably, all of them to your website will give you an instant access to Chinese customers’ wallets.

AliPay and WeChat Pay together represent over 90% of payment systems market. Union Pay overlaps with the large part of that market by the virtue of being older, semi-official system that is linked to every bank account in China by default. In fact, Union Pay is closest equivalent to plastic in China.

Chinese payment systems overview

Main Chinese Payment Systems

>> AliPay

>> WeChat Pay

>> Union Pay

 

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