According to a recent white paper released by Nielsen and Alipay, 65% of Chinese tourists sampled have used mobile payments while traveling overseas, compared with only 11% of non-Chinese tourists.

The white paper, “Outbound Chinese Tourism and Consumption Trend: 2017 Survey” found that 91% Chinese tourists said they were more likely to buy from a merchant if they supported Chinese mobile payment services.

The total number of Chinese traveling abroad has been increasing steadily over the past years, encouraged by increasing income and more favorable visa policies. A total of 131 million trips were made by Chinese tourists in 2017, a 7% increase from 2016, according to the China National Tourism Administration.

With the growing market, Alipay and WeChat Pay are battling it out for wallets at home and abroad. WeChat Pay has expanded to 25 countries around the world. Alipay used to hold over 80% of the transaction value across China, but in Q1 2017, Alipay’s market share dropped to 54 percent, while WeChat Pay claimed 40 percent.

“China has embraced mobile payments faster than any country and will continue to lead the global charge in this regard. Mobile payment is on the rise globally, and will continue to support greater connectivity and efficiency across the commercial ecosystem,” said Vishal Bali, Managing Director of Nielsen China.

Read more: The rise of China’s cashless society: Mobile payment trends in 2017

Here are 4 takeaways from the white paper:

1. 91% Chinese tourists want to use Chinese mobile payment brands overseas

According to the white paper, 83% of Chinese tourists polled said would ask whether local merchants support Chinese mobile payments. When asked about the reason for using Chinese mobile payments abroad “convenience and speed, and familiarity” (64%) came in first, followed by  “feeling proud of Chinese mobile payment brands” (48%), “favorable exchange rate” (43%) and “discounts or promotions” (36%).

63% of respondents said that they had used mobile payment while shopping, followed by dining (62%) and visits to tourist attractions (59%).

2. Chinese tourists spend more on shopping

Chinese spending abroad has been increasing steadily. In 2017, the average spending was $5,565 and is expected to reach $5715 in 2018, a 3% increase.

Of those polled, Chinese tourists spent an average $762 per person on their last trip outside China, compared to $486 for non-Chinese tourists. Duty-free shops were the most popular (62%), followed by department stores (47%) and supermarkets (47%).

The top three categories of spending were shopping (25%), accommodations (19%) and dining (16%). For Non-Chinese tourists, however, shopping came last (15%), with dining (18%) at #2, and accommodation (29%) at #1.

Read more: How Chinese mobile payments are quietly conquering the world

3.  Relative price after discount has a greater impact for Chinese tourists

When shopping, Chinese tourists paid the most attention to discounts offered (41%) and payment methods accepted (41%), followed by the price of the good or service (40%). For non-Chinese, opposite is true: 52% of non-Chinese tourists said total price (52%), total travel budget (43%) and product quality (35%) were key factors in making purchases.

4. The youth are leading in mobile payments overseas

During their most recent trip overseas, 65% of Chinese tourists used mobile payment, compared with only 11% of non-Chinese tourists.

The survey also found that younger used mobile payment more frequently: people born in the 90s used mobile payments for 33% of their purchases, while those born in the 70s used mobile payments for only 23% of their purchases. Credit cards were used for 37% and 49% of purchases respectively.

Eva Yoo is Shanghai-based tech writer. Reach her at

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