Tourist in China Can Finally Use Alipay, Here’s How

Tourist in China Can Finally Use Alipay, Here’s How

by November 6, 2019

China’s leading mobile payments platform Alipay announced that its services are now finally available to international travelers in China. Tourists visiting China will now be able to download and use the app during the trip giving them access to Alipay’s cashless payment.

This is much welcome news as mobile payments are the norm in China, where virtually every business in the country prefers cashless payments. Prior to this announcement, users required a local phone number and a Chinese bank account to access Alipay, which barred many tourists from using the app.

In a note to media, Alipay said that inbound tourists to China are increasing every year, thanks to eased visa requirements to boost tourism. In 2018, 30.5 million international visitors arrived from overseas, an increase of 4.7% from a year earlier, according to government data. These tourists are also spending more, with expenditure in areas such as hotels, shopping, and food rising 5.1% to a total of US$73.1 billion last year, the data showed.

How to Activate Alipay for Tourists in China?

Visitors will need just an overseas phone number, a visa and their bank card to sign up for Alipay’s “Tour Pass” mini-program.

They can top up in increments of as much as RMB2,000 ($285), and use the service to not just make offline payments but also hail cars, purchase train tickets and book hotels, among other features available within the Alipay app. Access to Tour Pass lasts three months, and then any leftover funds are refunded automatically.

Here’s a handy step by step guide on how tourists can use Alipay in China.



Ant Financial is an affiliate company of Alibaba Group. In September, Alibaba purchased a 33% stake in the fintech company.

Featured image credit:Alizila