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Mobile Payment In China

Time: 2023-11-27


Alipay is one of the largest payment applications in China, and you’ll find that it’s accepted almost everywhere. Here are some tips on how to make the most of Alipay while traveling in China.

Registration and Setup

Firstly, you’ll need to download and install the international version of the Alipay app and register an account following the instructions step by step. Once you’ve registered, you can link your international credit card to your Alipay account.

Very importantly, find the help center with the iconon the upper right corner of the “Me” page and you will see the detailed answers for the new users, such as How to add overseas bank cards, How can foreigners sign up for an Alipay account. You can also search for help and use the online service. Keep asking questions in English and then you will have an English-speaking customer service representer. (Note, this is based on the English version of Alipay in China. Please check if this is the same on your international Alipay app)

Making Payments

Alipay uses QR codes for transactions. To make a payment, you simply scan the merchant’s QR code and enter the amount to be paid. Alternatively, the merchant can scan your QR code to deduct the amount from your account.

Taking public transport with Alipay

Choose the location firstly. Find all the service channels, such as Bus, Metro, Taxi, Train, Plane and Bike in the ‘Transport’ button.

There are 2 taxi service providers in Alipay, Gaode and Didi. Gaode does not support overseas phone numbers, Didi supports overseas phone numbers.

Alipay supports one of the share bikes - Hello Bike, the blue bike. You can read the Help before you take a bike.

For overseas phone numbers, Bus and Metro are not applicable in all cities. For example, in Beijing, you can obtain the bus QR code, but not Metro QR code if you have an overseas phone number.

If you have a Chinese mobile phone number, there should be no problem in most cities.

The availability of support for transport may vary in different cities depending on the information displayed during the process.

Service fee

Transaction fees are waived for single transactions under 200 RMB. A 3% transaction fee will be applied for single transactions above 200 RMB.

Exchange Rate

The exchange rate will be calculated based on the exchange rate provided by the card organization and the issuing bank of your international card.


Alipay places a strong emphasis on security. The app uses advanced encryption technology to ensure that your transactions are secure. In addition, Alipay has a number of security features in place to protect your account, such as real-time monitoring of transactions and 24/7 customer service.

For overseas visitors, payment and transportation are the key functions. The rest services can be ignored at present. Most of them are not ready anyway.

Wechat Pay

WeChat Pay and Alipay are both leading mobile payment systems in China, but they have some differences:

The main difference between WeChat Pay and Alipay is that WeChat Pay is an in-app feature of the social media app WeChat whereas Alipay is a dedicated smart and mobile payment system.
For payment Alipay is smarter and has better customer service.
But Wechat can be more widely used since almost everybody has it.

We welcome our customers to use WeChat as it is an easy way to communicate with us. You can download the international WeChat app and link to your overseas bank card. Find detailed instructions here: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/Rm7rQBotG77SQmM6MMv75A.

Then just use the payment function and the chat function. The rest of the Chinese services may be too complicated and unnecessary for foreign users.

For both payment apps, the international service is not as good as the Chinese one yet.
We believe they will keep making progress since now China wants to develop inbound travel. :-)

Sim Card

Travellers can buy e-sim such as holafly, which can be used in China as if they were using the internet outside China without restrictions; or they can book a Chinese sim card with us in advance when making the booking.

On arrival, they can get a Chinese SIM card by showing their passport.


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