China’s payment giant UnionPay took the pulse of Chinese consumers’ New Year holiday consumption, and concluded that spending is up compared to last year.
According to UnionPay transaction data, during the 2019 New Year's Day holiday, total volume reached 821.7 billion yuan ($119.7 billion), up 17.3 percent year-on-year, hitting a new high, according to its news feed on Wednesday.
Overall, shopping increased by 31.5 percent compare to last year, with retailers launching various campaigns during the New Year season.
“From a regional breakdown point of view, Shenzhen, Ningbo and Beijing are the top three cities with fast growth in shopping,” Chen Han, a data analyst with China UnionPay, told the People’s Daily.
Tracking consumers’ UnionPay cards, UnionPay finds that the consumption of domestic catering increased by 21.2 percent year-on-year, while consumption related to transportation increased by 22.3 percent.
Chinese outbound travelers have been flying to countries on the route of the Belt and Road initiative, such as Georgia, Belarus, Russia, India and Morocco.
Sweden and Finland are popular among Chinese winter travelers.
As of November 26, 2018, the number of users of UnionPay’s mobile app exceeded 100 million before its one year anniversary.
The app is serving users in nearly 4,000 street markets, and among 70,000 merchants in 36 provinces and cities, according to the consultancy iResearch.
Applying technology including big data and artificial intelligence, the UnionPay app improves service efficiency and cuts costs in the payment sector.
China UnionPay is the country's largest bank card payment processor.
(Compiled by Dong Feng)