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Installment payments embrace high popularity in China, spur consumption upgrade

(People's Daily Online)    15:48, December 04, 2019

Installment plans are becoming increasingly popular among Chinese consumers, as many take this method of consumption as a means to alleviate their economic burden.

Aside from banks, more internet companies have started offering installment services, such as tech firm Baidu, e-commerce platforms JD.com and Suning, as well as Alibaba’s Ant Financial.

During the “Double 11” online shopping spree, Alibaba’s shopping platform Tmall offered “interest-free installments” for over 8 million items.

According to a report on e-commerce jointly issued by iiMedia Research and China’s Sun Yat-sen University, the compound annual growth of consumers using installment services stood at 68 percent between 2016 and 2019.

Installment plans are used not only for physical commodities, but also in many other sectors such as tourism, medical cosmetology, dental services, fitness and education.

Statistics from online travel services provider Ctrip indicated that the number of tourism orders paid through installments during this year’s 7-day National Day holiday increased by 30 percent from a year ago, and those placed in the third quarter tripled those in the same period of 2018.

The younger generations are a significant force of installment consumption. Chen Huifang, vice general manager of the consumer finance department of FinanceSN, said that over 10 million users had opened accounts on the company’s consumption loan platform, and those born in the 1990s accounted for over half of this group.

Over 60.9 percent of young consumers use online installment products, said a report by Nielsen.

Consumption finance is an integral part of inclusive finance, said Zeng Gang, deputy director of China’s National Institution for Finance & Development. For individuals, installments can lower payment threshold, balance income with consumption, and increase life quality, he explained.

As related policies are being continuously improved, the consumer finance market will embrace more rapid growth and boost consumption upgrading.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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