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Overseas users enjoy improved Chinese payment services during Hangzhou Asian Games

Xinhua| Updated: October 9, 2023 L M S

China, the host of the 19th Asian Games held from Sept 23 to Oct 8 in Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang province, has been offering optimized payment services for overseas tourists watching the games.

Latest data from Alipay, one of China's major online payment service providers, shows that the number of daily average transactions through its network since the start of the Hangzhou Asian Games for overseas clients surged 68.8 percent compared to the daily average number in August.

In July, both Alipay and WeChat Pay, another Chinese online payment platform, announced that owners of overseas bank cards can now be linked to Alipay or WeChat accounts, allowing seamless transactions.

Just days before the opening of the Hangzhou Asian Games, Ant Group, parent company of Alipay, officially welcomed seven new leading e-wallets and payment apps from Asia to the "Alipay+-in-China" (A+China) Program.

Users of mPay (Macao SAR, China), Hipay (Mongolia), Changi Pay (Singapore), OCBC (Singapore), as well as Naver Pay and Toss Pay from the Republic of Korea (ROK), and TrueMoney (Thailand) will be able to use their familiar home e-wallets on their phones and enjoy seamless mobile payment experiences in the Chinese mainland across Alipay's merchant network.

The new additions bring the total number of overseas e-wallets accepted in the Chinese mainland to 10. AlipayHK (Hong Kong SAR, China), Touch 'n Go eWallet (Malaysia), and Kakao Pay (ROK) piloted the program in late 2022. In total, these payment methods reach a population of over 175 million in Southeast and East Asia, according to data from Ant Group.

Users of these e-wallets may use their own payment apps wherever Alipay works, to enjoy secure, smooth, and cashless payment and transparent and competitive exchange rates.

To better meet the payment needs of overseas people in China and enable them to experience mobile payments and digital services more conveniently, the People's Bank of China, China's central bank, has guided relevant institutions to continue to provide payment convenience.

The payment service for overseas people coming to China has been further upgraded. They can also register and open a digital RMB wallet with an overseas mobile phone number through the E-CNY app, recharge the wallet with Visa or Mastercard cards, and then make payment. The balance on the wallet can be redeposited to the bank cards.

Noting that China's payment services have greatly improved over the years, Zhang Qingsong, PBOC deputy governor, said that the central bank, in recent years, actively guides payment institutions to optimize the foreign card binding process, accept overseas wallets in accordance with laws and regulations, and improve the convenience of payment for foreigners living and traveling in China, in efforts to promote cross-border cultural exchanges and economic and trade exchanges.

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