In 2016, Chinese travelers spent more than US$300 billion overseas, and made 136.8 million trips outside China (Source: UK Telegraph). In 2017, Chinese tourists spent an average of US$5,565 per overseas trip (Source: Nielsen).
What is important for shopping and travel service providers to know is that China has, in the space of a few short years, become a largely cashless society, since most Chinese shoppers pay for purchases with their mobile phones, using WeChat Wallet or Alipay. For the most part, Chinese consumers have completely skipped the credit card, and have gone to connecting their bank accounts on their mobile phones. China has embraced mobile payments faster than any other country.
Sixty-five percent of Chinese shoppers have used mobile payments while shopping overseas, while only 11% of non-Chinese tourists have used mobile payments. Significantly, more than 90% of Chinese tourists have said that they would use mobile payments if offered the option (Source: Nielsen).
Chinese tourists have different spending habits from non-Chinese tourists. For Chinese overseas tourists, the three top spending categories are shopping (25%), accommodations (19%) and dining (16%). For non-Chinese tourists, the top three categories are accommodations (29%), dining (18%), shopping (15%).
Put it all together, and you build a strong case for overseas travel and shopping service providers building a mobile presence and offering mobile payments to their Chinese customers.
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