US chains McDonald's and Starbucks favoured by Chinese Alipay users during Labour Day holiday

By Laura Mullan
Alipay, the Chinese mobile payment app created by founder Jack Ma and e-commerce platform Alibaba, has revealed that when it comes to dining overseas, C...

Alipay, the Chinese mobile payment app created by founder Jack Ma and e-commerce platform Alibaba, has revealed that when it comes to dining overseas, Chinese holidaymakers tend to spend their money on meals at McDonald's, Hong-Kong style eateries often referred to as ‘tea restaurants’, as well as coffees at Starbucks. 

In China, millions of consumers take advantage of Labour Day weekend with planned trips overseas.

Government estimates say that more than one million mainland Chinese residents travelled overseas on April 30.

Online payment service Alipay said that it processed five times as many in-store transactions overseas compared to Labour Day weekend last year, with the average user spend jumping almost 60% to 1,508 yuan (US$236.92).

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Data from Ant Financial revealed that consumers spent the most on average in countries such as Spain, France and Italy.

In recent years, US food and beverage chains have grown increasingly popular in China. 

Today, a Starbucks store opens in China every 15 hours and there are more than 600 Starbucks stores in Shanghai, more than any city on earth.

At its current rate, Starbucks said that China will overtake the US as its largest market within a decade.

Meanwhile, US fast-food giant McDonald’s has also seen a strong performance in Asia. It plans to double the number of stores it has in mainland China by 2022. 

China is also the biggest earnings driver for Yum Brands, the restaurant group behind brands such as Pizza Hut and KFC.

The US-company said that it aims to add around 15,000 restaurants in China over the next 15 years.
 

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