China's mobile payment apps expand worldwide

China's mobile payment apps are expanding their reaches in the global market as Internet giants such as Alibaba and Tencent seek to promote their e-payment tools overseas.

Tencent's Wechat Pay has been used in 20 countries and regions including Japan and the Republic of Korea, while Alipay offers payment options for shopping, transport and sightseeing in 38 countries and regions.

Wechat can process transactions in 13 currencies, while Alipay supports settlements in 27 currencies.

Consumers in altogether 24 countries can get their tax refunds through Alipay, and the app is available in more than 60 overseas airports to offer various services.

Besides promoting apps overseas, Alibaba's Ant Financial has partnered with India's PayTM since 2015 to help the latter build a local mobile payment platform and control risks.

The growth of China's mobile payment sector is driven by improved Internet infrastructure, innovation and a friendly regulatory regime, according to analyst Wang Pengbo from marketing consultancy Analysys.

After successes in online shopping, mobile payments expanded into stores and restaurants and are now used to pay for just about everything.

The trend has made China the world's largest mobile payment market. 

Mobile payments had totaled 81 trillion yuan (about 12.8 trillion U.S. dollars) by October 2017, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

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