Alipay Now Available for Foreign Tourists Visiting China

File photo by Xinhua.

HANGZHOU (Xinhua) — Short-term overseas visitors can now use mobile payments on the Chinese mainland, China’s leading mobile payment company Alipay backed by Alibaba announced on Tuesday.

The digital payment giant just introduced an international version of its popular app, designed for overseas travelers to provide them with convenience when paying with their smartphones for shopping, eating and traveling in the Chinese mainland, according to Alipay.

In China, users can have access to services such as paying for taxis and booking hotel rooms and movie tickets directly within the app. However, if a user needs to open the payment function in the app, a local phone number and a Chinese bank account are required, which is inconvenient for short-term international visitors.


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Now with the international version of Alipay, there is no more need to open a Chinese bank account. Visitors can use the “Prepaid Card” service provided by the Bank of Shanghai to top up Chinese yuan and enjoy services including scanning a QR code to pay at restaurants and shops, as well as making online purchases.

An increasing number of visitors are choosing China as their travel destination, as the country eases visa requirements to boost tourism. In 2018, China welcomed about 30.54 million international visitors to the mainland, a year-on-year increase of 4.7 percent, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.