BEIJING — China’s mobile payments totaled 81 trillion yuan (about $12.77 trillion) as of October 2017, the world’s largest volume, official data showed.
The volume was much more than the whole of 2016, which stood at 58.8 trillion yuan, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
The country’s third-party mobile payment market has continued rapid expansion as cashless transactions have gained increasing popularity across the country.
The value of third-party e-payments in China has grown at an annual rate of more than 100 percent since 2015, offering consumers an alternative to bank payment channels at lower transaction costs, global rating agency Moody’s said in a report earlier last year.
China is leapfrogging over credit card usage. Mobile payment has made it possible to order food, pay credit card bills, and manage stock accounts at anytime, anywhere, or buy a pancake at a roadside breakfast stall without having to carry a wallet.
Alibaba and Tencent are two major players promoting mobile payments in China. Products from the two internet giants maintain dominance in the industry.
According to figures released by China Internet Network Information Center, China had 724 million mobile phone users at the end of June 2017. More than 35 percent of them often make mobile payments while 31.8 percent still prefer using cash or credit cards.