Golden Week. Here's how Wikipedia describes it: "The Golden Week (黄金周), in the People's Republic of China, is the name given to a semi-annual seven-day national holiday, implemented in 2000: The 'Chinese Lunar New Year Golden Week' (Chinese New Year) begins in January or February. The 'National Day Golden Week' begins around 1 October."
This year, Golden Week spanned nine days, because when you count from 1 to 8 as individual days you get nine of them, and it was massive.
Not, you'd imagine that not everyone pays with Alipay – there's UnionPay in China and other payment systems too, but Alipay is big.
It was founded in 2004 by the Alibaba Group and its founder Jack Ma, and is a big part of the Alibaba empire, with a massive 520 million users – and growing!
So, Alipay has decided to share some stats on this year's Golden Week event, and notes that "All comparisons are on a YoY basis against last year’s regular seven-day Golden Week holiday, unless otherwise noted. Spending figures refer specifically to in-store transactions, unless otherwise noted", which means that a nie-day event is obviously going to be bigger than a seven-day event, but we're still talking impressive stats.
- This Golden Week, Alipay users conducted eight times as many in-store transactions overseas as they did last year.
- Asia dominated the list of top-ten destinations in terms of transaction volume.
- Hong Kong topped the list, followed by Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.
- Asia also saw much of the fastest growth in Alipay use from last year.
- In Singapore, transaction volumes increased by a factor of 30.
- In Japan transaction volumes were 16 times last year’s figure, while in Hong Kong and Taiwan volumes were 13 times the 2016 figure.Thailand saw six times the transaction volume of last year.
- Alipay use also grew substantially in other parts of the world.
- In Australia, transaction volumes increased 20 times, while New Zealand saw a six-fold increase.
- Europe, meanwhile, saw volume reach six times last year’s figure. Germany, the UK and France accounted for 40%, 23% and 22% of European transaction volumes, respectively. Italy, where Alipay launched just this April, accounted for a further 5%.
- Per capita spend increased by 50% to 1301 yuan.
- Unsurprisingly, per-capita spending was much higher than average in destinations outside Asia, particularly in Europe, where users spent an average of 3150 yuan through Alipay.
- Switzerland posted the highest per-capita spend (36,298 yuan (US$5506)) of any country or region, well over ten times the average for Europe as a whole.
- The U.S. and Canada (1648 yuan) and Australia and New Zealand (1415 yuan) were also above the global average (1301 yuan).
- Those born in the 1980s and 1990s accounted for 84% of all users.
- Users consumed over 1.2 million e-coupons in Alipay. 200,000 of these were consumed in Hong Kong alone.