As mobile payment has become a part of people’s everyday lives in China, apps like Alipay and Taobao are transforming China into a cashless society where transactions are commonly carried out via mobile devices. Alipay is one of the most-used online payment apps. Once you have connected it with your bank card, you can pay bills, transfer money, purchase services and goods, order food, or book flight or train tickets, and more. Taobao is one of the most popular online shopping platforms in China, which is owned by Alibaba. Its closest equivalent in western countries would be either Amazon or eBay.
How to set up Alipay
Step 1: Download Alipay App
Download Alipay on your phone, and open the app.
Step 2: Enter your phone number
As with every other app in China, you will need to enter your phone number to register an Alipay account.
After you receive the verification code via SMS, enter it on the next screen.
Step 3: Set up your payment
Tap on the “Bank Cards” button under the “Me” section to add your card(s). Note that you can only add debit cards and certain credit cards associated with Chinese banks.
Step 4: Verify your identification
Click the tab to access “My Account”, and then click on the option to add your passport information in “Identity verification”. You will need to show a picture of your main passport page and the page with the stamp from your most recent arrival into China (the stamp you received at the airport). You will be notified about the result of the verification within 24 hours.
Step 5: Use your Alipay
You will receive a notification once your account has been successfully verified. You can also check “Profile” under the “Me” button. If there is a blue box which reads “已实名” (profile verified), then it’s time to go outside and treat yourself with confidence!
How to set up Taobao using your Alipay account
Step 1: Install the Taobao app
Download Taobao to your phone.
Step 2: Register your account in a shortcut
If you’ve already registered Alipay, you can register for Taobao using a shortcut. Tap the Alipay blue button at the bottom of the homescreen and you can link to your Alipay account with Taobao, making payment easy.
Step 3: Add your shipping address
Click the “My Taobao” (“我的淘宝”) button on the bottom right corner of the home page, then click “my shipping address”(“我的收货地址”) to add your shipping address. Here, you can easily add multiple addresses.
Step 4: Shop until you drop
Congratulations! You can now start your Taobao adventure.
This article appeared in the beijingkids June 2019 Home & Relocation Guide issue.
Photos: Wendy Xu