Shanghai consumers spend the most on Alipay

Updated: 2016-01-22 23:31

By YU RAN in Shanghai(China Daily USA)

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Shanghai's online consumers were the biggest spenders on Alipay in 2015, compared with their counterparts from other provinces and municipalities in China, according to the latest annual report by the country's largest online payment platform.

The report showed that the average individual in Shanghai spent 104,155 yuan ($15,843) on Alipay last year. Consumers from Zhejiang province came in second with an expenditure of 94,192 yuan.

The report showed that people in coastal provinces and more developed regions spent the most, with Beijing, Jiangsu and Fujian provinces completing the top five.

"It's only natural that people with busy lives need to rely on and Alipay to get the things they need, from daily supplies to electrical appliances," said Chen Zhaomi, a 30-year-old resident from Shanghai, who spent nearly 120,000 yuan via Alipay in 2015 on shopping, traveling, and dinning.

The report also revealed that the average expenditure on catering services was 36 yuan among all Alipay users in the country. Shanghai Alipay users again topped the rankings when it came to catering (excluding take-outs) as an increasing number of young people have started to pay for their meals using their virtual wallets instead of cash.

Mobile payments accounted for 65 percent of the total payments made via Alipay in 2015, representing a yearly growth of 15.8 percent.

"Now I can go out for lunch or dinner with only my mobile phone and car keys as many restaurants and stores accept Alipay. It is now a common and convenient payment method," said Liu Jue, a 28-year-old housewife in Shanghai.

Mobile and Alipay have also been increasingly used to pay for transportation. The average expenditure for taxis on a national level was 20 yuan per trip. Hangzhou from Zhejiang province topped the list, accounting for 11.4 percent of all taxi bookings made in China, followed by Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing.

As the owner of Zhaocaibao and Yuebao, China's largest money market fund, Alipay has attracted a large number of clients to purchase financing products from the platform. The report showed that the average profit earned from the two financial platforms was 256.7 yuan per person.

Young people, especially university students, have emerged as the prime target audience for these platforms, with 37.3 percent of Alipay's financing product buyers being people born after 1990, while 20 percent of them are aged between 18 and 20 years old.

"We are probably the generation relying most on the Internet, and we are also more willing than others to try new things like online financing," said Yang Zhaoqi, a 21-year-old university student from Tianjin.

In addition, China also has witnessed a boom in rural e-commerce, with central and western areas showing higher growth rates than more developed areas. Residents in China's southwestern and northwestern regions were also found to be more willing to pay via their mobile phones.

"Thanks to the rapid growth of e-commerce, it is a natural trend that more people choose the more convenient way to shop, eat and travel — it is a sign that we are moving further into the digital era," said Yu Hai, a professor of sociology at Fudan University.