Small cities in China lead the growth consumption
Small cities in China lead the growth consumption, 40% of all WeChat Pay transactions were in small fourth, fifth, and six-tier cities.
According to data released by Tencent’s ubiquitous app WeChat and Alibaba’s payment platform Alipay, China’s mass holiday migration over the lunar new year shook up spending patterns domestically while setting new trends abroad.
Holiday travelers made a total 1.2 billion transactions using WeChat Pay from Feb. 4 to 9 during the Spring festival. But not only that, travelers took their payment habits home with them, what the platform termed “migratory consumption” getting the 40% of all WeChat Pay transactions in small fourth, fifth, and six-tier cities.
Alibaba’s Alipay announced that users born in the 1960s or 70s were the driving force behind growth in China’s outbound tourism and spending. The platform, which is now accessible in more than 40 markets globally, is “a huge drawcard for overseas merchants as a platform to help grow their business,” Janice Chen of Alipay’s Cross-border Business unit, said in a press release.
In a further sign of market penetration, the growth of overseas consumption by Alipay users from third or fourth-tier cities outpaced that of travelers from China’s largest metropolises.
For the first time, France also entered the top 10 foreign countries with the greatest spending volume over WeChat Pay, reflecting the growing adoption of the platform in Europe. According to app data, top non-mainland destinations for WeChat users over the holiday were Hong Kong, Macau, and Bangkok.
Tencent’s social media platform also released a slew of other statistics on user behavior, following its 2018 report on generational sleeping habits and other details. Combined with figures from Alipay, the two platforms paint a surprisingly detailed picture of how users spent their weeklong vacations.
For instance, 823 million WeChat users sent or received virtual hongbao, “red envelopes” stuffed with money, a 7.1% increase over the Spring Festival holiday period last year. Among them, the “post-90s” generation—born between 1990 and 1999—led the pack. Beijing was the most popular city for sending and receiving WeChat hongbao, followed by Guangzhou and Chongqing.