Alipay, China’s leading online payments system, has published figures that indicate payments made via mobile devices grew rapidly in the country during 2012.
The company saw a 546 per cent increase last year in the value of mobile payments, while the number of consumers using mobile devices for the same purpose increased by 223 per cent, according to China Retail News.
More than 4.3 million users spent more via a mobile device than a PC during 2012, said the report.
Alipay also broke out usage patterns geographically around China. Shanghai, Beijing and Chengdu have the most Alipay users in total. But small and medium-sized cities have a greater number of mobile payment users.
In terms of mobile payments’ share of total payments on Alipay, Lhasa in Tibet ranked first across the country, followed by Nyingchi, also in Tibet, and Nanchong in Sichuan.
Among the top ten Chinese cities with the most active mobile payment users, seven are in the west of China. The other three are Yunfu and Maoming in Guangdong and Sanya in Hainan province.
In the country’s smaller cities, the penetration of mobile handsets is much higher than PCs, and the usage of the mobile internet much greater than fixed broadband. This makes mobile payments easier to complete than using a PC with a fixed connection.