Receiving payment from your customers

Cash on delivery (COD) is still regarded as a must-have option for online sellers in China.
Around 37% of all online orders of physical goods are still paid for using COD.

Customers pay by COD when goods have arrived at their home either by swiping a bank card in the deliverer’s point of sales (POS) device or by paying in cash.

COD is decreasing in popularity, however, to make way for purely online payment mechanisms, which are increasingly regarded as quick, safe and efficient.


Market share of online third-party payment providers in China

Third Party Payment Provider Market Share
Alipay 51.0%
Tenpay 18.60%
Unionpay 11.50%
99Bill 6.60%
Chinapnr 5.40%
Yeepay 3.20%
IPS 2.70%
Other 1.00%

Note – these figures are greatly impacted by the dominance of online marketplace giants Tencent and Alibaba, owners of Tenpay and Alipay. Most transactions originate from the companies’ own online shops.

Online payment services are greatly increasing in popularity across China. Where adopted, most large e-money services – e.g. Alipay and Tenpay – enable shoppers to pay for goods sold on international merchant websites using RMB.

These providers will then remit the sum in the relevant foreign currency to the international merchant in settlement.

Third Party Payment Provider Market Share
Alipay 51.0%
Tenpay 18.60%
Unionpay 11.50%
99Bill 6.60%
Chinapnr 5.40%
Yeepay 3.20%
IPS 2.70%
Other 1.00%

Bank Cards

China is one of the world’s fastest-growing credit card markets, though the Chinese have traditionally had a conservative attitude to spending and tend not to use credit where it can be avoided.

Almost all key e-commerce platforms in China accept online card payments, and most third-party payment service providers make provision for debit and credit cards as part of their offering.


China UnionPay is used by 54.1% of credit card holders in China.


  • The largest bankcard scheme in the world by number of cards issued, as well as the only Chinese interbank network.
  • Links ATMS of more than 14 major banks across mainland China.
  • Monopoly on processing RMB-denominated transactions using debit and credit cards in China.
  • Facilitates both domestic and cross-border transactions for cards it issues.
  • Provides a payment method called UnionPay Online Payments (UPOP) for cardholders to use when making online purchases (see above), as well as the more recent ExpressPay.
  • For some specific business types, UnionPay transaction volume may account for significantly greater share of payments than is displayed above.


  • In 2014, the total transaction value of Chinese mobile payments exceeded $97 billion, with an increase of 391.3% on 2013.
  • Roughly 70% of Chinese consumers have purchased a product or service through mobile devices.
  • In the near future, merchants can expect a greater average number of transactions from individual shoppers to be completed on mobile devices.


Mobile Apps MAU (Monthly Active Users) (in millions)
Alipay Wallet 62,818
Tenpay 1,723
Bestpay 1,337
Alipay 0.998
Lakala 0.788

Other areas of interest

Meeting your regulatory responsibilities

How you decide to enter the Chinese market can determine the legislation and tax applicable to you.

Reaching and engaging your consumers

Chinese consumers are unique in their shopping habits and preferences; e-shopping in China is viewed as a form of entertainment for the entire family.

Getting The Goods to Your Customers

E-retailers will encounter hurdles such as China’s relatively under-developed delivery infrastructure.

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