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Pioneering Digital Payments in China and Beyond

Founded in 2004 as a part of Alibaba Group, Alipay is a digital payment platform that evolved into one of the world’s largest mobile payment apps. Initially developed to facilitate transactions on Alibaba’s e-commerce sites, Alipay has since broadened its services, offering everything from bill payments and local services to investment products and insurance.

% of coverage
  • Country


  • Population

    Approximately 1.42 billion (as of 2023)

  • Number of Internet users in China

    Over 900 million

  • Popular payment methods

    Alipay, WeChat Pay, UnionPay (credit and debit cards)

% of coverage
  • Alipay


  • WeChat Pay


  • UnionPay


  • Other


Payment Method Overview
  • Type:Digital Wallet & Payment Gateway
  • Currency:Renminbi (CNY)
  • % of coverage:Approx. 65% of China's internet-using population
  • Transactions to date:>50 billion (estimated)
  • Total registered users:>1 billion (estimated, includes overseas users)
  • Refunds:Yes
  • Chargebacks:Yes, subject to Alipay's policies and conditions

About payment system

Alipay stands as a cornerstone of China’s digital economy, offering a comprehensive suite of financial services embedded within its app. It’s not just a payment method, but a lifestyle platform. Users can hail a cab, book a hotel, buy movie tickets, pay utility bills, and even make doctor’s appointments, all within the Alipay app.

For Chinese consumers, Alipay represents a seamless and secure method to manage their financial life. With features like facial recognition payments and QR code scanning, Alipay simplifies transactions, whether online or offline.

Merchants, from luxury brands in global capitals to street vendors in small Chinese towns, recognize the value of integrating Alipay. With its vast user base, Alipay provides merchants with access to a significant segment of Chinese consumers, both domestically and tourists abroad.

Alipay’s emphasis on technology and innovation is evident in its initiatives, like the “Smile to Pay” facial recognition system and the integration of augmented reality (AR) for shopping. The platform’s commitment to security is also noteworthy, utilizing advanced algorithms and technologies to prevent fraud.

Internationally, Alipay has been forging partnerships with merchants and payment providers, catering to the massive number of Chinese tourists and residents abroad, while also aiming to capture new markets and users.

The success and influence of Alipay go beyond just transactions; it’s reshaping the financial habits of its users and setting the global standard for digital payment ecosystems.

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Payment flow

The customer selects Visa as their payment option and enters their credit card details to complete the payment.

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