Shang­hai con­sumers spend the most on Ali­pay

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By YU RAN in Shang­hai

yu­ran@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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 Taobao.com 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.

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