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UnionPay card use in Taiwan up 40 percent

TAIPEI -- China UnionPay Card recorded nearly 40 percent more transactions made with UnionPay cards in Taiwan last year as the number of Chinese visitors continued to climb, China's state-owned China News Service reported Thursday.

The joint bank card's use has been boosted by an increasing number of Chinese tourists traveling outside of tour groups and stepped-up cooperation between Taiwan and China, the report said.

China's National Tourism Administration figures showed that 2.92 million Chinese visitors came to Taiwan in 2013, an increase of 11 percent year-on-year.

Taiwan's Ministry of Transportation and Communications also said that the number of independent Chinese tourists has grown dramatically since they were first allowed in mid-2011. Taiwan saw 190,000 independent visitors from China in 2012, but the number skyrocketed to 520,000 last year.

According to the China News Service report, UnionPay's international division said its card is now accepted at Taiwan's duty-free shops, department stores, hotels, restaurants and scenic areas. UnionPay cards can also be used to ride the high-speed rail, regular trains and taxis belonging to Taiwan Taxi Co.

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