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It has been eye opening to see how much credit card use there is in China now. It seems like about 20% of shoppers at supermarkets use credit cards. They have to enter a PIN number to use it.

It was news to me to discover that you can use your Discover Card in China wherever you see the ubiquitous Union Pay logo.

I've just recently checked out an online shopping website called TaoBao. My guess is that it is the "Amazon" of China. Being that it is run by Alibaba, it's no wonder that Alipay is the online payment option for Taobao. According to its Wikipedia page, Taobao did USD $29 billion in online ecommerce in 2009!

Check out Alipay's great customer education video about how to use credit cards to buy things online in China.

I'm going to try to use my VISA card to buy something on Taobao and see if it works.

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Truman, the Alipay video seems to be in Chinese. I had Chenling translate.

I actually have the other side of the issue. Each week, someone from China emails me saying they want to sign up but cannot use a credit card. They want to arrange for a wire transfer which I'd rather avoid.

Now that you are an expert at China e-commerce :), any advice for me? What can I do to make it easier for Chinese buyers to use their credit cards online? I looked at Alipay but it was not clear how I could set up an account for myself.
Hi John, I wouldn't call myself an expert in China e-commerce! But Discover Card's arrangement with Union Pay is quid-pro-quo. So anyone from China with a Union Pay credit card can use it in the United States where Discover Cards are accepted. You could try processing their Union Pay cards as a Discover card. I'd be interested to hear back from you if you are able to get this to work for your China customers.

By the way, I was unsuccessful in using my VISA card to buy an item on Taobao.

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