With the start of the school year, many students from China are arriving in Canada to begin their studies. Here are some quick facts you should know about Chinese students in Canada.


In 2018, there were more than 140,000 Chinese students in Canada.

Nearly 1 in 4 international students are from China. Canada is trying to increase the numbers of tourists and students from China, and as a result, wait times for visas and study permits are getting shorter.


Canada’s popularity continues to grow among Chinese students.

The number of students from China growing by 54 percent between 2013 and 2017. There are several reasons for this growth. Students considering study in North America may see Canada as a safer option than the United States. Canada’s diverse culture is another attraction. The quality of Canadian post-secondary education is also viewed favourably in China and studying here provides excellent opportunities for students to improve their English language skills. Finally, Canada has recently changed its immigration laws to make it easier for foreign students to receive post-study work permits. This can be a key step towards a successful application for permanent residency.


Chinese students are looking for a more familiar way to pay.

Alipay and WeChat Pay represent more than 90 percent of all mobile payments in China. This payment method is incredibly popular in China: in 2016 mobile payments valued $9T, or approximately 8 times the value of mobile payments made in the United States. Mobile payments first became popular in China as a way to pay for goods online but these types of payments have since become ubiquitous in retail. Many people also use mobile payments to transfer funds. With Alipay and WeChat Pay, Chinese students and tourists can pay for goods using a familiar interface that is linked to their bank account at home – they simply scan a QR code in the app.


At this time of year there’s an opportunity for retailers to forge new relationships with Chinese students and offering platforms like Alipay and WeChat pay is a great first step.


You never know – those students might become regulars, or even long-term customers!