China's online payments market reaches $123B

Country's online payments market grew by 112.6 percent year-on-year in first quarter of 2012 on back of new business models that help widen online payments' reach, research shows.

China's online payments market grew to 776 billion yuan (US$123.38 billion) in the first quarter of 2012, due mainly to new business models facilitating the mode of payment.

According to IT consulting firm iResearch, which released its study last Friday, the industry grew 112.6 percent year-on-year, and 1.2 percent compared to its previous quarter results.

This growth can be attributed to the new business models such as point-of-sales (POS) payment options and online securities trading, it noted.

In terms of vendors, Alipay continued to lead the market with its 47.8 percent market share, followed by Tenpay and Unionpay Online which had 20.3 percent and 9.1 percent share, respectively, the study stated.

That said, iResearch noted that China's online payment industry still faces various pressures, including tightened market regulations, the expansion of emerging markets and profitability requirements.

An earlier survey by MasterCard showed that China and Thailand led the rest of the Asia-Pacific region in online shopping, with 80 percent of users polled indicated that they have made purchases off the Web.