|Xinhua File Photo
BEIJING, March 11 (Xinhua) -- Users of China's most popular online payment service, Alipay, will have the chance to apply for credit cards for online use, starting next week.
Alipay will join China CITIC Bank to issue one million online credit cards with a minimum credit line of 200 yuan (32.6 U.S. dollars), Zhang Daosheng, spokesman for Alipay, told Xinhua.
The maximum credit a user can get will depend on the actual credit conditions of users on Alipay, as well as on Alibaba's e-commerce sites Taobao and Tmall, Zhang said.
At present, Alipay has more than 300 million real-name registered users and a large database on users' credit and spending habits.
The service will appear next week on Alipay Wallet, a mobile app that allows users to make online payments, pay bills, book taxis and even invest in a wealth management product called Yu'ebao.
Applicants should first become a follower of China CITIC Bank on the app and apply for cards online, the spokesman said, adding that applications will immediately be approved or rejected, compared with a waiting period of about a month in the case of traditional card applications.
The credit cards can only be used for online consumption through Alipay's website or mobile app.
"The move will be convenient for our customers, many of whom are not used to using credit cards," Zhang said.
Chinese people owned 4.21 billion bank cards by the end of last year, but only 391 million were credit cards, roughly two credit cards for every seven people in China.
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