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Citibank to Issue Credit Cards in China

Written by Nickel - 4 Comments

Citibank to Issue Credit Cards in China

Here’s an interesting development in the world of finance… Citibank has apparently gained approval to issue a credit card in China. This makes Citi the first non-Asian bank to enter the market.

Citi has actually had a co-branded credit card in China since 2004, but those cardholders are technically customers of Shanghai Pudong Development Bank. Elsewhere in Asia, Citi has 16M credit card customers, but China…

Wow, what a huge market.

I haven’t seen any details regarding this card and, frankly, I know very little about the credit card market in China. I did, however, run across a 2009 article from the NY Times that talked about consumer debt problems in China due to banks “blindly” issuing credit cards. Sound familiar?

Apparently the number of credit cards issued in China tripled from less than 50M in 2006 to 142M in 2008, and a total of roughly 1.9B cards are believed to have been issued there since 1985.

Source: CNN/Money

Published on February 7th, 2012
Modified on February 19th, 2012 - 4 Comments
Filed under: Credit Cards

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

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4 Responses to “Citibank to Issue Credit Cards in China”

  1. 1
    Eric Says:

    From my own experiences, China has rapidly developed their consumer economy in the last decade. Whereas everyone knows China’s producing capabilities, I can definitely see the market for large multinationals like Citi to profit off the newly acquired consumerism. Cash is still king but credit cards are becoming much more commonplace.

  2. 2
    BG Says:

    Why is it that chinese products are practically the only things sold in the US, and an american bank is only NOW getting “approval” to enter that market?

    Talk about trade imbalances…

  3. 3
    Dan B Says:

    Because “perceived” beggars can’t be choosers.

  4. 4
    Maggie@SquarePennies Says:

    They go where the money is. And the potential is exponential.

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