Payments in China - How to spend your Benjamins/ Yuan?


Since erverybody is affected by that topic I thought it‘s time to talk about it.

For all of you who are interested how tom pay in China, let me give you a brief introduction to the topic.


In China almost everybody - no matter if the 80-year-old grandpa, students or businessmen – pays by smartphone.

When you come from Europe it might seem a little confusing paying everything by smartphone since in many European countries cash is popular.

Whereas in China there are 2 very popular applications to transfer money with. WeChat and AliPay. If you look for a comparison. ApplePay - also working here.

AliPay belongs to AliBaba, I am sure you have heard about it. It is kind of like Amazon, but even more present then Amazon is in Europe.

They established their app Alipay, but you can’t only use it for AliBaba itself but also for payments outside the "AliBaba empire".


More popular than AliPay is WeChat which is also the most popular communications app over here.

Imagine yourself having Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype and your current bank accout integrated in one ominpresent application.

Let’s just call it an all-rounder.

Sounds convenient! Doesn’t it? Indeed, because it is also possible to send each other money within seconds like it’s possible with Paypal.

To pay you can find QR-Codes everywhere. Even people begging for money, which is pretty rare in China, would ask for money transfer via the app.

Just scan it and the payment is done.


More efficient, more convenient, WeChat - "digitalization rules"

However I strayed away.

If you come to China you need to open up a current account at a Chinese bank to get you a credit or debit card which is linked to your bank account. The card’s number is necessary to use the payment features of both apps. Once you deposited a bank card you are good to go.


Of course there is still more conservative ways to pay in China.

You can use your Mastercard or Visa and Paypal as well. Not to mention cash.

Just get used to people eyeballing you like you just arrived from the middle age.

By WOOK Talent

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