Alipay, the payment arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has released new statistics about this year’s Chinese National Day Golden Week (黄金周, the week-long public holiday from October 1 to 7). As expected, mobile payment saw heightened traction during the holiday. In a press release, Alipay claimed that its platform processed 2.2 times as many in-store transactions overseas over the past week compared to last year.
Overseas spending through the Alipay app also grew significantly with Asia continuing at the top spending destinations for Alipay users. Hong Kong retained its top spot from last year’s ranking and Thailand also retained its position as second favorite spending destination, company data shows. Japan rose to become the third most popular destination in terms of transaction volume.
According to the payment giant, European countries saw the fastest growth in terms of transaction volume. Transaction volume in Switzerland increased 27 times compared with the previous year, usage in Spain also grew 14 times.
During the Golden Week, not only usage among Alipay users grew, but users also spent more. The company says users on average spent RMB1,979 on their purchases through its app—an 30% increase from last year. Spending was higher in Denmark than any other countries with users spending RMB 8,764 on average over the holiday. France and Italy also saw higher user spending.
The payment giant has been ramping up expansion efforts in overseas markets over the past year, including in Europe and Southeast Asia. Ahead of the Golden Week, Alipay expanded its service coverage to Iceland and the Maldives and now covers more than 110 countries and regions around the world.
Over 3 million discounts and e-coupons for shopping, dining and cab rides were used by Chinese travelers during the holiday.
Chinese tourists have been a major driving force for homegrown payment giants’ expansion abroad. A recent report on Chinese mobile payments’ global performance shows Chinese consumers’ increasing willingness to pay digitally when traveling overseas. The two dominant players in mobile payment, Alipay and WeChat Pay, have been working with tens of thousands of merchants overseas in a bid to become the dominant provider in the global payment market.