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China's bank card spending up in Spring Festival holiday
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China's bank card transactions rose 32 percent in the Spring Festival holiday from the same period a year ago, buoyed by robust consumption despite the global financial crisis, China Unionpay, a national bank card association, announced on Feb.1.

Consumers spent 38.84 billion yuan with their cards domestically in the most important Chinese traditional festival.

Card payments made up 14 percent of the 290 billion yuan in retail sales during the week-long break. Retail sales were up 13.8 percent from a year ago.

Sales promotions and the wide acceptance of the card also helped boost the transactions, sources with the company said.

Bank card transactions indicated the full potential of domestic consumption, said sources with the company.

Transactions in less developed central and western China doubled in the holiday due to wider acceptance in those areas.

The company has extended its network to 26 countries and regions, where the cards are accepted by 125,000 outlets and 365,000 ATMs.

(Xinhua News Agency February 2, 2009)

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