return icon

Could foreign e-wallets lead to a foreign currency drain?

Nepal on May 21 imposed a ban on transactions with Chinese e-wallets Alipay and WeChat Pay in the country. What about Vietnam?

The ban aims to stop the foreign currency drain caused by Chinese travelers who buy goods in the country and make payments with Alipay and WeChat Pay.



In 2018, Nepal received 150,000 Chinese travelers, and a high number used e-wallets to pay for hotel rooms, restaurant services and goods in Nepal owned by Chinese.

With such a payment method, the cash flow from buyers’ e-wallets went directly to sellers’ e-wallets or bank accounts in China.

The situation in Vietnam is similar to Nepal’s as agencies have discovered that Chinese travelers in Vietnam have made payments with Chinese e-wallets illicitly.

The situation in Vietnam is similar to Nepal’s as agencies have discovered that Chinese travelers in Vietnam have made payments with Chinese e-wallets illicitly.

Many shops in Vietnam have been found illegally using POS connected with Alipay and WeChat Pay or other Chinese and payment institutions. As a result, though transactions are made in Vietnam, the money cannot be retained in Vietnam.

This occurs despite the existence of regulations which prevent the activities.

As the enforcement remains weak, the Deputy PM Vuong Dinh Hue last September requested the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) and local authorities to inspect and stop the illegal behavior of transferring money via POS. However, it is still unclear how far the process has gone.

SBV has issued a draft circular on the management over intermediary payment services, setting stricter requirements on service providers.

However, the draft has faced criticism from experts, who pointed out that it would only cover anthentic businesses, i.e ones which register their business with agencies and cooperate closely with domestic partners.

Alipay and WeChat Pay are the two most popular e-wallets in China, while China is the biggest tourism market for Vietnam. According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), about 5 million Chinese travelers came to Vietnam in 2018.

More than one year ago, both Alipay and WeChat Pay began cooperating with Vietnamese e-wallet service provider Vi Mo ( in providing payment service to Chinese travelers who buy goods in Vietnam. Under current laws, only e-wallets licensed by SBV have the right to provide intermediary payment service in Vietnam.

With the cooperation, Chinese travelers in Vietnam can make payment with Alipay and WeChat Pay at 4,000 POS via Vimo throughout the country.

In late 2017, soon after Jack Ma, the owner of Alibaba, came to Vietnam to attend a forum on e-payments, the Chinese business signed a cooperation agreement with NAPAS on bringing Alipay e-wallet to Vietnam.

Under the cooperation, sellers in Vietnam accept payment with Alipay made by Chinese travelers who buy goods and services in Vietnam.

Kim Chi 


Vietnam to removes daily transaction limit for e-wallet users

Vietnam to removes daily transaction limit for e-wallet users

Following the removal of the limit, Vietnam’s central bank said it would only maintain the monthly limit of VND100 million (US$4,284) for each individual.  

VCCI opposes VND20m daily transaction limit for individual e-wallets

VCCI opposes VND20m daily transaction limit for individual e-wallets

The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry has objected to the State Bank of Vietnam’s (SBV’s) proposal that an individual must not conduct transactions worth more than VND20 million per day through e-wallets.  


VN manages to control public debt

Viet Nam managed to control public debt within a safe level with gradually slowing year-on-year increases. However, according to the Ministry of Finance, the economy was severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in the past three years.

Hanoi needs to combine green growth with urban development

The capital Hanoi is focusing on urban development towards green and sustainable growth and building a smart and modern city.

Phu Yen man makes unique plates from sea grape leaves

Nguyen Van Tuyen, a 38-year-old man from Phu Yen, has successfully designed and produced environmentally-friendly plates made from the leaves of sea grape, a tropical tree.

Bad vendors put e-commerce at risk

Smuggled, counterfeit and low-quality products have begun to spread rapidly on e-commerce platforms as the absence of physical product touch in online shopping puts buyers at a disadvantage.

Thai Nguyen listed among top 6 best places globally to enjoy tea

Marking International Tea Day, travel website has unveiled a list of the top six must-visit destinations around the world for travelers to dive into the historical and cultural values of tea, with Thai Nguyen featured in the list.

SEA Games men’s football final tickets stir black market

Tickets for the final of the men’s football at the ongoing SEA Games 31 are being offered for sale at shockingly high prices of up to VND8 million (USD348) each.


SEA Games 31: Thai weightlifter conquers men’s 67kg class

Doll collection created in honour of Mother Goddess worshipping

Inspired by Mother Goddess worshipping - a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage - designer Van Anh Scarlet created a collection of figurative dolls based on the ritual, called the “Painting of the Four Palaces”.

Try some typical Muong grub

The Mường ethnic people living in Hòa Bình, Thanh Hóa or Phú Thọ share the same origin and almost the same way of living in harmony with nature.

VN food exporters turn focus to domestic market

Vietnamese are tending to consume foods of clear origin and high quality after the COVID-19 pandemic, causing many export-oriented food brands to turn their attention to the domestic market.

Stormy time for HOSE: network pending, leader disciplined

In 2021, the HCM City Stock Exchange (HOSE) reported a 21-year high profit. However, it was also the year when many problems occurred.

Facebook to register, declare and pay foreign contractor tax in Vietnam

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, on the occasion of the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the National Innovation Center (NIC), made the tax payment commitment.

Prime Minister’s ‘3-in-1’ business trip to the US

The business trip to the US of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has brought important bilateral and multilateral results, according to Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ha Kim Ngoc.

Corporate bond issuance drops sharply after arrest of Tan Hoang Minh chair

After the cancelation of nine corporate bond issuances of three companies related to Tan Hoang Minh, the volume of private offerings fell sharply by 33 percent to VND30 trillion in April.

Why the stock market sell-off when VN’s economy is strong?

Vietnam’s benchmark VN-Index sold off 11 per cent last week and was down 21 per cent in the year to date at the end of last week after being nearly flat until March end.