Tibet leads China in mobile payments

Tibet continued to top the country in mobile payments as a proportion of total online payments for the fifth year in China, Alibaba's financial branch Ant Financial said Wednesday.

According to the company's 2016 annual report, 90 percent of online payments in Tibet were made on mobile devices, much higher than in the relatively developed coastal provinces.

Thanks to complete communication signal coverage, farmers and herdsmen in even the remotest villages in Tibet can use cell phones to purchase daily necessities online.

On average, Tibet residents used mobile payment to top up their phone credit 16.7 times a year on average, far more than other regions.

Over 80 percent of mobile payment users were born in the 1980s and 1990s. Xigaze City ranked first in Tibet in online shopping, with consumption per person exceeding 10,000 yuan (1,430 U.S. dollars) for the year, the report said.

QR codes for payment are common in restaurants and shops.

"On the one hand, more shops are offering mobile payment services, and on the other, consumer payment habits are changing," said Norbu with the People's Bank of China Lhasa office.