One of the major nuisances for foreign visitors to China might be gone as the country’s major payment giants, Tencent (operating WeChat Pay) and the Ant Group (operating Alipay) agreed to accept foreign credit cards on their platforms. Up to now, visitors needed to have a Chinese bank account to use those common payment tools in China.

The promise is not new, but all too often foreign visitors had to rely on the rather outdated cash payment. Now the central government is trying to smooth operations involving foreign investors and other visitors, and this agreement might become true.


Chinese tech giants Tencent Holdings and Ant Group said that they would allow users to link international credit cards to their platforms, an issue that has long plagued foreign visitors as the country’s payment system has kept credit cards out for years.

Tencent, operator of the popular chat app WeChat and payment network WeChat Pay, said on Wednesday (Jun 28) that WeChat users overseas can link credit cards issued by Visa to their WeChat app from next month. Foreign tourists can then pay with WeChat when traveling in mainland China.

This comes after Mastercard announced last week that cardholders can link credit or debit cards to the Alipay digital wallet where they can finally “pay like a local”. Alipay is the mobile payment app owned by Ant.

More at Reuters.

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