Bloomberg today published a report that provides some updates on China UnionPay’s global expansion. China UnionPay now is the world’s largest card network by number of cards.
With more plastic in circulation than any other payment network — 2.9 billion cards, or 45 percent of the world’s total last year — UnionPay is now accepted in 135 countries. Its rise is causing friction as the firm grabs market share from Visa Inc. (V) as well as MasterCard Inc. (MA), which UnionPay surpassed in customer spending in the first half of the year.
And China UnionPay’s global expansion is backed by the fast-growing overseas spending of Chinese consumers:
Chinese spent a record $7.7 billion on shopping in the U.S. last year, according to U.S. Commerce Department data. Their purchases climbed at least 30 percent annually in seven of the past eight years, the data show.
At a time of global economic struggles, China UnionPay has achieved some enviable numbers:
UnionPay’s 2011 profit rose about 78 percent to 1.07 billion yuan, on revenue of 6 billion yuan, China Business News reported in April, citing data from the company’s shareholder meeting. Over the past four years, UnionPay’s revenue has more than tripled while profit increased almost 11-fold, according to the report.
Mercator Advisory Group’s latest China report covers the market there in depth. Click here to view the press release regarding China’s E-Payment Market 2012.