How do I register an Alipay account?

Third-party online payment service Alipay is China’s answer to Paypal, and a must-have if you want to use massive online marketplace Taobao. Transactions are secure and reliable, as vendors do not receive payments until the buyer has confirmed receipt of goods and satisfaction with their purchase. Learning how to use Alipay can really make life in China easier, allowing you to pay for all manner of things with minimal hassle. However, as the service (both website and app) is currently only available in Chinese, it takes a bit of getting used to. The guide below will put you on the right path.


Step-by-step guide

1. Alipay can be used to pay for a huge range of products and services. Foreign residents are most likely to find it useful for:

  • Paying for purchases on eBay-like selling site Taobao
  • Paying bills, including water, electricity, gas, telephone, broadband and cable TV
  • Tickets and reservations for hotels, flights, trains, buses and movies
  • Buying mobile phone credit
  • Transfers to bank accounts and other Alipay accounts

The screenshot below gives a fuller idea of what you can use Alipay to do.



2. To register for an account, you’ll need:

  • Your ID (or passport) number
  • An e-mail address
  • A phone number – it doesn’t matter which country it’s from, so long as you can access it when signing up

3. Go to the Alipay registration page:

4. The “个人账户”(personal account) tab should be highlighted in orange, as below.


Click on image for larger version

5. Click on the first drop-down list to choose your region. The options are limited, but most Asian countries are included, as are a number of Western nations. Your choice should not make a huge difference, so don’t worry if your country is not listed.

6. In the box labeled “账户名,” type in your email address, then hit Enter – a green tick should appear to the right of the box, indicating that Alipay has verified that no account is registered under this address.

7. In the box labeled “验证码”, type in the case-sensitive Captcha code you see in the box to the right. Again, a green tick should appear to the right of the box to indicate that you have entered the code correctly.

8. Make sure the check box below is checked to indicate acceptance of Alipay’s terms, then click the orange button labeled “下一步” to proceed to the next step.


Click on image for larger version

9. A pop-up message will inform you that Alipay has sent an email to confirm your registration. Click on the orange button. Your email inbox will open in a new tab. Find the email from Alipay and click on the link contained inside. You must do this within 24 hours to complete your registration.


Click on image for larger version

10. When you click on the link in the email, Alipay will open in a new tab, and a pop-up box will prompt you to insert your mobile number. At this stage, you may either enter a mobile number from your country (the country you chose in step five), or a Chinese mainland mobile number. A verification code will be sent to this number, so make sure you choose a number which you actually use.


Click on image for larger version

11. When you have entered your mobile number, click the orange button to proceed.

12. You will now receive a message telling you that an SMS containing a 6-digit verification code has been sent to the mobile number you just entered. When you receive the SMS, enter the 6-digit verification code in the box and click the orange button to submit.

13. Next, complete the registration form using the translations below as a guide.


Click on image for larger version

14. When you have completed all of the information required, click the orange button to submit. The next screen will confirm that you have successfully completed the registration process. Now all you need to do is to verify your account and add some some credit.


Useful Chinese words and phrases

还款 huán kuǎn repayment
充值 chōngzhí recharge
捐款 juān kuǎn donation
彩票 cǎi piào lottery
学费 xué fèi tuition
注册 zhù cè register
确定 què ding confirm
账户 zhàng hù account
护照 hù zhào passport
海外 hǎi wài overseas
支付密码 zhīfù mì mǎ payment code
登录密码 dēng lù mì mǎ login password
真实姓名 zhēn shíxìng míng real name
性别 xìng bié gender














Useful link

The main Alipay site


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14 Responses to How do I register an Alipay account?

  • I have a Alpay account,$211.00 . I can’t access it . What do i need to do to get a Payment for goods.
    Acc # 1723138104

    • As far as I know you need to verify your account to withdraw money, see the according article on how to do it. Good luck!

  • Hi
    i already have the account, but recently is not working i’ve been upload my passport pic and my stamp but each time they send me failed how ?what can i do? and how come i just can’t use my slippery for taobao but i can use for all my app and my payment. Also 11.11 is coming I’m really looking for shop.

  • what is real name in alipay regitration

  • hi , everyone!

    I’m an italian wanting to sell some fashion bags and goods on tao bao!

    They told me that I need a chinese bank account to get registered on Alipay, and I ‘m thinking to open up the bank account through the bank in Milan. But In the bank they told me they will not give me a credit card , just a bank account number. Is it possible to open Alipay as well and then continue to sell on it ? If anyone has any info I would be so grateful !!!! thank youuuuu :)

    • Hi Anica. We’re sorry to inform you that there is no way to register for Alipay without having a Chinese bank account. Best of luck with your business plans!

  • Hi,

    I have a webshop which doesnt support Alipay yet. How can I as a seller (located in Holland) open a Alipay account so my customers in China can use the Alipay method on my webshop?


  • okay, so maybe something has changed since this article, or i’m doing something wrong. i reach the page where i have to give my real name etc. now if previously i chose china mainland, there is no option of giving my passport number, just my (chinese) personal ID number. and therein, as the bard put it, lies the rub. you see, i do not have chinese ID. i only have my passport, but since i’m in china right now, and using a chinese cellphone, on the first page i HAVE to choose china mainland. because if i chose my home country (or any other country for that matter) the phone’s international code will be set to that particular country’s. e.g.: if gave taiwan as my nationality, i won’t be able to give my chinese cell number since the regional codes differ. so if i choose china mainland, i won’t be able to give them my passport number, and if i choose some foreign country, i won’t be able to receive the verification code.

    anyone has some idea how to tackle this rather annoying catch22?

    thx a bunch

    • Hi longhu. For non-mainland users, it is no longer possible to register using a Chinese cellphone number. You should register with your email address instead. The problem probably lies in the first step. When you click Register, the website will guide you directly to the page to register with your cellphone number as you can click this link to see the picture in a new tab.
      A.Personal account
      C.Cellphone number
      D.Verification code
      E.Next step
      F.Register with email address

      You are supposed to click F on this page and then it will direct you to Step 4 of the guide above. Hope this helps!

  • Am having problem signing up on Alipay, please is any body in the house knows the password requirement for signup on alipay

  • It seems to only take the phone number and verify it, without any recourse to add an email. I did verify my Chinese number, however there are no provisions for passport numbers on the next step -just Chinese ID cards.

    Is there a work-around for this?

    Thanks in advance

  • I can’t sign in to alipay and I have tried about 9 times, it won’t even recognise my email address yet it sends me emails. Then it expires almost immediately

  • Totally so useful! And Understandable, easy way to do it. Thanks a lot !

  • Hi, I am a european who would like to receive a money transfer from my friend who lives in China. The bank transfers are much too expensive so I checked out this article. Unfortunately, it seems to be outdated- right now, when trying to register on I should put my phone number. But since I cannot choose the exact country I live in I cannot put the right phone number…
    Please let me know what would be the recommended by you option of transferring the money to my european bank account? Let me just add that I do have an old visa in my passport but I do not have a possibility of opening the bank account in Chinese banks.

    Thanks in advance!


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