China Profile: Two Successful Factors for the Largest Cashless Society

10 Nov, 2020 . 4 minutes

China’s population was about 1.4 billion at the end of 2019. Digitals payments have risen significantly recently. China’s online shopping market was estimated at $1.2 trillion in 2019 and will continue increasing. It is expected to have an annual growth rate of 9.2 percent in 2021, according to pre-Covid-19 estimates). 

The internet penetration rate was 54.6 percent in 2019. As a world leader in mobile commerce China’s ecommerce transactions are carried out mostly on mobile devices and generate around $873.3 billion in sales. Digital wallets had a 54 percent market share, or $620.5 billion in sales, in 2019. These are expected to expand at an annual growth rate of 34 percent and will take a 65.2 percent share of the ecommerce payments market by 2021.

Two important factors enabling China's digital payments are its high bank account ownership and widespread smartphone ownership. With the rising number of mobile merchant payments the People’s Bank of China has forbidden merchants to accept only digital payments to avoid cash discrimination.

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