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Signing in to Your Alipay Account


For most of you, this will not be a necessary step.

If you followed the directions in our guide to signing up for Taobao,  you will have a limited Alipay account created for you automatically. The limitation is that you can only buy stuff, and cannot take money out. If you get a refund on an item, you cannot get it back from Alipay.


How to sign into Alipay through Taobao

If you go direct to alipay.com and try to sign in, Alipay may give you all sorts of trouble about needing Chinese ID numbers and other security data.  You can bypass this by signing in through Taobao. Go to Taobao.com and sign in by clicking the green box.

2013 04 19 150503 Enter Recharge Numbers Online taobao international


Now click this link which takes you to Alipay.

2013 04 19 150654 Enter Recharge Numbers Online taobao international


You’ve done it!

Now you can take a look around Alipay – check out our guide to the Alipay Control Panel.

More questions?

If you have any more questions, you can check out the official walkthrough (in Chinese, but still very intuitive) or ask us in the comments below.


  • John said:

    Hi, I’m from Spain and I would like to register an account taobao, I have not Chinese phone , there is any way to do this?

  • GHM said:

    I am not exactly sure why you guys above need a Chinese ID for taobao transactions. I don’t have a Chinese ID, and I’m using taobao quite a lot since a couple of years. The only thing I can’t do because I don’t have a Chinese ID is 快捷支付 (that’s the fast way to reload directly from the bank card without using the internet banking stick – for me as a Mac user, that would make life less complicated as Chinese internet banking ONLY works on Microsoft Internet Explorer). To register 快捷支付 you need to input a Chinese ID matching the number that was used when registering your Chinese bank account – which is obviously impossible as I used my foreign passport. I have contacted the help chat a couple of times on this issue and was told that it’s currently just not possible for foreigners to register for 快捷支付. Too bad!

  • ruby said:

    @GHM How are you paying if not using the 快捷支付 option?

  • Maude said:

    Actually ‘Fix the Guide’ you can still follow Megan’s advice (post#20). It’s true you can only choose from a limited range of Asian countries when you create the account but when it comes to entering your address they let you put in a Mainland address. So I just chose Singapore then entered my Beijing address and it has worked fine.

    The only problem I now have is that I already had an Alipay account linked to TaoBao which I can no longer top up because of the ID card problem and I can’t seem to work out how to add another one. But, for anyone who is having the same issue, I have found that when you go to pay for something in TaoBao you can select an option to ask someone else to pay so I ‘asked’ my new Alipay account to pay then logged into that account and completed the payment. It worked but it’s a bit convoluted so if anyone knows how to add a second alipay account to Taobao or how to replace one please post, thanks!

  • Sean said:

    Yesterday I added 600RMB to my account through Wang Hui E and now when I get to the final steps of payment I get stuck with the Chinese ID thing. Does this mean my money is lost now? Has anyone got out of this situation?

  • KW said:

    The answer provided by Megan [1] might help you create an account, but it will not allow you to recharge your account: “可以在网上购物,但不可以充值” (You can buy products online, but you will not be able to recharge your account)

    In order to gain this functionality, you need to follow the verification procedure explained on this page:

    This requires a scan of your passport and a “proof of entering the country”. I assume the last one is a scan of the page with the entry stamp, so it seems that you can only go through this procedure if you currently are in China (maybe also if your exit stamp is on a different page, but usually it will be on the same page).

    Also note that if your name (last name + first name) is more than 20 characters, only China Merchants Bank and China Construction Bank are supported..

    I have not tried this myself. I can still buy stuff online with my ICBC account, just not recharge my accounts. I don’t feel comfortable giving random companies scans of my passport.

    Whenever I get a refund, my Alipay account is credited though. So maybe it’s possible to find a merchant and make a special deal where you pay 1000 RMB and ask for a refund for 990 RMB, which will then be credited to your Alipay account.

    [1] http://help.alipay.com/lab/help_detail.htm?help_id=254355

  • KW said:

    IMPORTANT: In my last comment I mentioned that I can use refunded money. I just realized, however, that the first time I wanted to do so I had to go through a verification page where I had to enter my passport number. I would not be surprised if this verification page replaces the old one (that was in 2012).

  • Uma Mahesh Varma said:


    I am new to Alipay. I have knowledge on paypal and braintree payment gateways. I have few questions about the Alipay.

    1) Can we create sandbox account for Alipay as we do in paypal?

    2) Can I know how we can get the secret key and token as we did in paypal?

    3) Can we use Alipay outside the china?

  • Peter said:

    Looks like if you are outside of China it becomes impossible to use Alipay., as you need to have phone number with approved countries., if you are not on the list, you will not be able to validate yourself and continue your registration any further….

  • seffy said:

    I transfered money from a friends Taobao account to mine but when the money arrived in the account it was written;balance not available,its been a fews days now.
    I can see the money in the alipay account but i cant use it and it asks me for real name authentication before i access the money.
    What should I do.

  • Ed said:

    I am from the USA but live in China. I have opened an account at the post office so i can buy from Taobao. but when i get to the alipay section and to verify my account it ask for my ID number. My passport number is not as long at the Chinese ID number. So can a foreigner have an account here. The bank will not accept a passport number.
    any help?

  • Intrepid said:

    If you are a laowai living in China, register as ‘overseas’ in the first window, then pick any country from the drop down list which then appears next to it. (any country you fancy – there are about 7 Asian countries to choose from and no option for ‘other’ or ‘USA’ etc so it doesnt matter which). However by registering as “overseas” you then get the passport option at the ID request (after the passwords), not the obligatory 16 digit Chinese ID number. Note that when it prompts you for a phone number if helpfully offers the IDD Code for the country you selected eg +65 for Singapore, but you can change it back to CN and keep going.
    Other tricks it has is that your bank account must be entered surname first the forenames, and that when logging back in for the first time it needs you to download a security widget before you can put in your password – all very comforting but a bit of a challenge

  • Raz said:

    This is a disgrace
    I have linked my Taobao to alipay via my mobile number but now I can’t verify my account as I don’t have a chinese ID.
    I can’t unbind my account…no help option NOTHING

  • liban said:

    HEY i want to creat new alipay it asks me ID Number and it wont eccept my passport ID number what the problem and in the registration also it wont ecept my real name it only need chinese character names like 赫斯乐

    please help

  • jo said:

    hello, i am a hk citizen, and i have:

    hong kong ID card
    Bank of china account

    but the problem is that i don´t have a 回鄉證 because i have never been to china mainland, how can i still get my alipay?

    i really need this because i want to use it for receiving money from my customers!!!

    yours faithfully


  • Louise said:

    Hi! I was wondering if it’s possible to transfer money to alipay without using your online bank account? We are currently in China, and we have an ICBC account, but after spending a lot of afternoons figuring out how to install the online e-banking… It still doesn’t work (it has something to do with a java script or something…). So it would be nice if we just can transfer money to alipay by using the traditional transfer… I wanted to ask it, before we hit again on a wall of disappointment :)… I want to buy on taobao!! Thanks!

  • julia said:

    Would be very useful if someone could help with this issue as we cannot verify the account without an ID

  • chichi said:

    hi! i have followed all the steps but i seem to have a problem when paying, i cant enter my password because the is a text that appears and i dont why?

  • PJ said:

    I would re-register and make sure to select a foreign phone number so you can add a non-Chinese ID number

  • Belle said:

    I was recommended this website by my cousin. I am no longer certain whether this submit is written by way of him as no one else know such special approximately my trouble. You’re wonderful! Thank you!

  • Jaime said:

    I got my Alipay account directly by clicking from my Taobao profile, the problem is that now I cant with it because I dont have a payment password, and if I try to change it I have to go through the ID authentication thing, the problem is that if I say I am foreigner I setup a completely new account, but if I continue as mainlander I dont have a 18 digit Chinese ID.
    Why does Alipay have to be that complicated!

  • lav said:

    i used my phone number to registered the taobao but how am i gonna add my email address?

  • caterina said:

    Hi I can’t finish the real name authentication procedure! After I submit all the documents and information, I just can’t perform the last step and I keep getting an error message. The customer service only speaks chinese and I am finding it impossible to do this! please help!

  • ianedwardpearson said:

    Ok. I had the ID number frustration like many of you. I had a taobao account and an Ali account but could not pay. I am now successfully purchasing on TaoBao. I wanted to do it without leaving my desk, but that did not work out. The tricky part was trying to get Alipay to not use “Quickpay” (translation) and to use online banking instead, because quickpay is what is asking for your ID. Here’s a break down of what I had to do.

    1. Bring your card and passport to the bank to setup online banking
    2. Go home and make sure you can login to your bank account
    3. Install drivers for your USB security key.
    4. Buy something on Taobao.
    5. Use ONLINE BANKING to pay from alipay page.(NOT QUICKPAY!!)

    1. I tried to setup online banking by myself using Chrome translate and trial and error. Didn’t happen. You must go to the bank and tell them to setup online banking. Bring your debit card and your passport. Once mine was setup the kid working there (luckily he spoke good english) brought me over to a computer and did something weird where I had to pay 1 yuan to my phone bill like 6 times or something. Not sure why, but whatever. Then I took my passwords that I setup and my usb key device home.

    2. Make sure you can login to online banking. I can now login to online banking for ccb with my passport number and password. I also have a payment password that is different from my login password.

    3. I was told that I wouldn’t need to, but I DID need to download a driver for my USB key on the CCB website.

    4. Login to TaoBao and buy some plus-size undies.

    5. When you get to the Alipay page this is the part where everyone is having trouble. There is an option to use online banking instead of quickpay. My first time buying it was easy to find. From there you can login to your account and plugin your USB key and put in your purchase password and press the green button.

    The second time I purchased it was MADDENING trying to find the link to use online banking instead of quick pay, especially knowing that I had done it successfully before! When I got to the Alipay page it already had my card info right there, but I could not figure out how to tell it to not use quickpay. I kept going in circles, but I finally figured it out. You have to click the “Add Card” button, even though your card info is already displayed. From there you can choose online banking and finish your transaction. I hope this helped. I’ll probably make a youtube video or something so keep an eye out for that.

    I wish I could post pictures in this message board and show you what I’m seeing to help more. Feel free to email me with with questions. My addy is my full name displayed above at google’s mail.

  • shah said:

    hi I am from Nepal, currently in staying in China. I have Chinese Bank account and want to register on Alipay. What should I do?

  • Holly said:

    I regist for an alipay account but it was wrong phone number format? I’m sure what’s wrong? my celphone number is: +84987.356.966 (Vietnam – but it appears +86 in the web??)

  • antoine said:


    I also have the name/paper ID issue.
    Any solution ?

  • Kiteplans said:

    Here is a NEW 2014 Guide on How to Set Up an Alipay Account as a Foreinger in China and it works Great!

  • mer said:


    I have the same issue with the real name authentication. I don’t have a chinese ID then I can’t recharge funds in my Taobao account using post office slip or e-banking.
    I can’t bypass signing into Alipay through Taobao. The explanation above is not working anymore. Were you able to find a way to avoid the chinese ID?

    By the way, great work on all these guides.

  • Sara said:

    I dont have chinese id card and my taobao account is not runnig now plz halp me

  • Coty said:

    Just another update, if it wasnt already noticed. After a few weeks of waiting, documenting and getting help from chinese friends i have a verified Alipay account. But When i tried to link or quick pay with a China Merchants bank card, they ask me for my ID number, without any passport option. My chinese friend called the bank and ….surprise: they said China Merchants Bank doesnt support passport numbers!? Simple as that. I have another account at Standard Chartered Bank, which apparently support passport numbers but i think the card is not activated for online payments yet. I will check with the bank. Did this happend to you too? I thought China Merchants Bank is one of the offical supported banks. Now although the list of banks is much bigger, some of them still have issues with accepting foreigner passports.

  • Nicholas said:

    Hi, this is my 1st time buying from taobao without going through agent. I’ve successfully paid using my mastercard however when I need to pay for the freight it ask for my 支付密码, some sort of password for my payment. Can someone tell me what’s that and if I forget it how can I get it back?

  • Yami said:

    just wondering how do i change the option for the idcard authentication since i am foreign student so i dont have chinese id card

  • Lynn said:

    Hi I am a Singaporean and my refund is now stuck at alipay account.
    How can I get my refund back to my Singapore bank account?

  • Apple said:

    Hi I am a Singaporean too and my refund is stuck at Alipay account. I pay for the goods using VISA credit card. Anyone can advise and help me get my refund back from Alipay account to the visa credit card. Thanks

  • Serene Yew said:

    I bought an 儿童电动车 on 15.1.2016 until now haven received amount 776.11 at Alipay*taobao.com shanghai
    Pls call me urgent @60122732322

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