Alipay is ahead of Tenpay, the China Payments Rivalry continues

According to the China Internet Network Information Center, the number of people accessing the internet through their mobile phones rose to 464 Mn by June 2013 with 10% increase from 6 months earlier. This provides an area of vast potential for Payment systems such as Alipay and Tenpay. With a larger subscriber base of 800 Mn, and greater revenue Alipay is leading the way in the Chinese payments industry.

The following pie-chart depicts the market share as per iResearch data:

Share of third-party mobile transaction volume

By mobile payment provider – China, Q2 2014


The popular Chinese payment processor has been successful in bringing mobile phone as a prime medium of making payments for its customers. Alipay’s transaction volume reached $225 bn in Q2 2014 according to research. Alipay, as a mode of mobile transaction, accounted for 80% of third-party mobile transaction volume in China in Q2 2014.

Alipay is also going up against Chinese financial institutions by positioning itself as a mobile bank. Its platform allows customers to store savings, make investments and perform bill payments with ease. Alipay was part of the e-commerce giant alibaba but was spun off back in 2011. Alipay continues processing payments for Alibaba. Alibaba is even considering buying a stake in Alipay.

Alipay’s users are primarily buyers and sellers engaging in e-commerce transactions. Alipay has partnered with some leading Chinese banks includingBank of China, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Visa. Alipay provides solutions for Taobao and along with over 500,000 external merchants for virtual gaming, online retail, digital communications, airticketing, commercial services and utilities fee payment transactions.

Alipay showed positive growth last year too. According to research, the total transaction volume by independent mobile payments services from China increased by 707%, rising to $201.2 Billion (1219.74 Bn Yuan) in 2013. Its surprisingly high. Alipay, a subsidiary of alibaba, accounted for 75 percent of the country’s mobile payment market as of June 2013.


Tencent is the main competitor for Alipay in the payments industry. Tencent’s QQ instant messaging service had 818 Mn monthly active users by June 2013 according to Bloomberg.

Tenpay can be used to send/receive payment, withdraw money to bank account, charge mobile, deposit money on game account and buy air tickets. Tenpay has over 80 financial institutions with over 300 access points. According to L’Atelier, the company has partnered with over 1.1 Mn merchants spanning 20 industries including travel business, insurance, online shopping, logistics, clothing and education.


Alipay accounted for 48.3% business of the online payment market, while Tenpay occupied another 20.1%, according to research, for the first quarter of 2013. But the current figures show Alipay’s share rising to around 80% and Tenpay holding lesser market share of around 9%.

It seems that Alipay has not only gained a significant market share but has also taken away a certain share off of Tenpay.