Insider Intelligence delivers leading-edge research to clients in a variety of forms, including full-length reports and data visualizations to equip you with actionable takeaways for better business decisions.
In-depth analysis, benchmarks and shorter spotlights on digital trends.
Learn More
Interactive projections with 10k+ metrics on market trends, & consumer behavior.
Learn More
Proprietary data and over 3,000 third-party sources about the most important topics.
Learn More
Industry KPIs
Industry benchmarks for the most important KPIs in digital marketing, advertising, retail and ecommerce.
Learn More
Client-only email newsletters with analysis and takeaways from the daily news.
Learn More
Analyst Access Program
Exclusive time with the thought leaders who craft our research.
Learn More

About Insider Intelligence

Our goal at Insider Intelligence is to unlock digital opportunities for our clients with the world’s most trusted forecasts, analysis, and benchmarks. Spanning five core coverage areas and dozens of industries, our research on digital transformation is exhaustive.
Our Story
Learn more about our mission and how Insider Intelligence came to be.
Learn More
Rigorous proprietary data vetting strips biases and produces superior insights.
Learn More
Our People
Take a look into our corporate culture and view our open roles.
Join the Team
Contact Us
Speak to a member of our team to learn more about Insider Intelligence.
Contact Us
See our latest press releases, news articles or download our press kit.
Learn More
Advertising & Sponsorship Opportunities
Reach an engaged audience of decision-makers.
Learn More
Browse our upcoming and past events, recent podcasts, and other featured resources.
Learn More
Tune in to eMarketer's daily, weekly, and monthly podcasts.
Learn More

China Mobile Payment Users 2019

Moving Toward a Cashless Society

About This Report
Consumers in China, whether buying at retail outlets or street stalls, are using proximity mobile payments—largely supported by QR codes—and reducing their dependency on cash.
Table of Contents

Executive Summary

China is steadily marching toward a cashless society, enabled by Alibaba’s Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Pay. Those two leading payment systems have introduced QR code-backed payments into the daily habits of consumers. Proximity mobile payments are now ubiquitous for purchases in apparel stores to supermarkets to convenience stores.

How many people in China use proximity mobile payments?

Proximity mobile payment users in China grew by 10.0% in 2019 to reach 577.4 million (by far the largest in the world). While 81.1% of smartphone users use proximity mobile payments, penetration is much lower (49.6%) among the overall population, meaning this market still has room for further growth.

What are the leading proximity mobile payment service providers in China?

Alipay, owned by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial, and Tencent’s WeChat Pay are the most widely used proximity mobile payment services in China.

Why are proximity mobile payments so popular in China?

Two primary factors have led to consumers in China embracing mobile payments; 1) China is a mobile-first market, meaning most internet users’ first device was a mobile phone; 2) Credit card ownership was low when mobile options Alipay and WeChat Pay were first introduced.

What are the opportunities for more adoption of proximity mobile payments?

Those in China who have lagged in adopting mobile payments include individuals ages 35 and older and those in rural areas, which have more limited access to internet and mobile networks. The challenges to convert those groups to switch to a mobile payment system will require consumer education, product adoption and infrastructure investment.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report features our latest forecast for proximity mobile payment users in China. It also examines what’s driving the proximity mobile payment market, as well as potential opportunities and challenges.

KEY STAT: We estimate that, by the end of 2019, 81.1% of smartphone users in China will be proximity mobile payment users, and yet, that represents less than half of the country’s population.

Here’s what’s in the full report


Exportable files for easy reading, analysis and sharing.


Reliable data in simple displays for presentations and quick decision making.

4expert perspectives

Insights from industry and company leaders.

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Proximity Mobile Payment Users in China
  3. Key Players
  4. Widespread Smartphone Use and Low Credit Card Ownership Spur Adoption
  1. Mobile Payment and Overseas Travelers from China
  2. What’s Next for Digital Payments?
  3. Key Takeaways
  4. eMarketer Interviews
  1. Sources
  2. Media Gallery

Charts in This Report

Interviewed for This Report

Nishtha Mehta
CollabCentral Consulting
Founder, Executive Facilitator, Corporate Lean Innovation Coach
Interviewed September 26, 2019
Philip Wiggenraad
Head of Research, Retail and Consumer Insights
Interviewed September 19, 2019
Ananth Devarajan
Product Lead, China
Interviewed September 26, 2019
Mike Narodovich
Executive Director
Interviewed September 26, 2019


Man-Chung Cheung


Shanshan Ao
Research Intern
Jasmine Enberg
Senior Analyst
Jennifer Jhun
Research Director, International and Special Projects
Cindy Liu
Senior Forecasting Analyst
Vincent Yip
Forecasting Analyst
Already have a subscription?Sign In

Access All Charts and Data

Gain access to reliable data presented in clear and intelligible displays for quick understanding and decision making on the most important topics related to your industry

Become a Client