This past Golden Week—an eight-day national holiday in China—Alibaba’s mobile payment solution Alipay recorded eight times as many in-store transactions overseas as the same period last year.

This comes as no surprise: Alipay, along with its arch-rival WeChat of Tencent, has embarked on an aggressive global expansion in recent years. For now, most of their overseas usage is driven by the veracious outbound Chinese tourists who are now the world’s top spenders. 135 million Chinese outbound tourists spent a total of $261 billion in 2016, according to World Tourism Organization. As Alipay and WeChat become more common in foreign lands, Chinese tourists can skip the hassle of exchanging foreign currencies and carrying cash around. Research shows only a little over 10% of Chinese outbound tourists prefer to pay with cash or credit cards.

Alipay is now available in more than 30 countries and regions across Europe, North America, and Asia. Its transaction volume in Hong Kong topped the list during this Golden Week, followed by Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea. WeChat is currently available in 13 countries and regions.

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Rita Liao

Telling the uncommon China stories through tech. I can be reached at ritacyliao [at] gmail [dot] com.