Mobile Wallets Spotlight: China

Over the past 2 years, Southeast Asia has added more than 70 million online shoppers. This growth has in large part been driven by consumers adopting mobile wallets. Mobile wallets give a bigger audience access to online payments than credit cards and bank-based payments.

China is without a doubt the most mature mobile payments market in the world. WeChat Pay and AliPay form a duopoly for mobile wallets, with 1 billion and 1.2 billion users respectively. The lack of fragmentation as well as the concentration of users within these two wallets has meant that their acceptance is now commonplace, even amongst foreign merchants.

While user growth in China is set to stagnate over the next five years, we expect to see continued growth in transaction volume and value:

  • Mobile wallet users: 1.2B in 2020, forecast to grow to 1.3B by 2025
  • Mobile wallet ownership: 84% of the population, 91% by 2025
  • Mobile wallet transaction volume: 343B transactions, 511B transactions by 2025
  • Mobile wallet transaction value: $3.5T, $5T by 2025

China’s mobile wallet landscape: WeChat Pay, AliPay, digital yuan?

China is a clear duopoly for mobile wallets, as both AliPay and WeChat pay have 1.2 and 1 billion users respectively in country with a population of 1.4 billion. These numbers make it clear that both the vast majority of the population are using mobile wallets, and that most Chinese consumers are using both WeChat and AliPay.

While there are upstarts in China that combine to have over 250 million users, their penetration and usage pales in comparison. A recent notable initiative that may impact the market is the launch of China central bank’s digital yuan wallet app, which has acquired users rapidly but with a limited roll-out.

In terms of user growth by mobile wallets in China, here is our forecast for the next 4 years:

China Mobile Wallet Market Share Growth Forecast
Mobile wallet market share growth forecast in China

Want to launch mobile wallet payments in China? Conclusions

China is by far the largest market for mobile payments in the world today: payment acceptance is high and the market is rapidly maturing. While user growth is projected to slow to roughly 1.9% CAGR from 2020-2025, mobile payment volume is slated to increase by 7.9% over the next 5 years.

For merchants looking to grow their revenue in China, integrating mobile wallets to reach online consumers is crucial. If you are looking to launch mobile wallets in China and other Asian countries through one turnkey integration, get in touch.

For more data on mobile wallet payments in China and 20+ other countries, download our Mobile Wallets Report 2021.

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