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February 12, 2019

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Card payments pass 1 trillion yuan mark

CHINA UnionPay said transactions over the weeklong Chinese New Year holiday surged 71.5 percent to a record-high 1.16 trillion yuan (US$171 billion) — the first time the figure has passed the 1 trillion yuan mark.

“Dining, shopping, transportation and entertainment activities are big boosts to the spending surge this year with consumer sentiment upbeat at the traditional time of family reunions and gatherings,” said Chen Han, an analyst with UnionPay, the country’s sole bank card network operator.

“The pickup in spending on entertainment and traveling are also emerging trends amid the rising total spending.”

Spending on gold accessories jumped 90 percent from a year earlier as it is a Chinese tradition to buy gold products or jewelry to bring luck to family and friends.

Cultural entertainment spending more than doubled, and sporting activities such as skiing and exercise were also popular.

Ningxia and Inner Mongolia were among the regions that saw the highest growth for entertainment spending.

Outbound travelers to 137 countries and regions used the UnionPay payment network, which has expanded to 26 million merchants in 174 countries and regions.

The number of payments through UnionPay’s mobile platform increased 2.5 times, and the amount jumped 4.4 times.


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