I am currently a foreigner living in China and I am trying to book an AirBnB in Shanghai through Alipay (since the Host only accepts Alipay and Paypal). However, when I try to check out, I keep getting the error message from the AirBnB app: "We could not charge your Alipay account. Please verify your Alipay account and try again." I was wondering whether this is because I don't have a Chinese national ID? But if that is the case then it's strange, since my foreigner friend managed to pay for his AirBnB with the same method successfully.

I have reached out to AirBnB customer support for this matter, and they have yet responded. I am curious if anyone has experienced the same issue before? And does anyone know how I can resolve this or work my way around it somehow (without requesting the Host to accept my payments offline, which would violate AirBnB's policies)? Thank you.

  • 1
    Why does your host want you to pay using Alipay? You, as a guest, can pay using whatever options available and Airbnb then sends money to the host with the applicable charge deducted.
    – Blaszard
    May 14, 2019 at 18:40
  • @Blaszard I’m not sure, but the payment methods that are available to me are Alipay and Paypal. There’s no option to choose anything else.
    – Tina
    May 14, 2019 at 23:15
  • That is strange. I have always used my credit card to book a room in China. According to this page on Airbnb, you can use major credit cards, AliPay, WeChat Pay, (and Paypal I think) in China.
    – Blaszard
    May 14, 2019 at 23:21
  • PayPal may be used if you have a credit card acceptable to them, you don’t need a funded account or anything like that. May 14, 2019 at 23:22
  • @Blaszard Does that necessarily mean that every listing would allow its customers to pay with those methods? Or can the host limit the options somehow?
    – Tina
    May 14, 2019 at 23:55

1 Answer 1


You have to be a Chinese citizen, some are also having problems paying if they are not a citizen as seen here, you will need to contact the host.

  • 1
    Best to quote the relevant part of the content in the link, in case the link expires/changes
    – Mark Mayo
    Sep 9, 2019 at 21:49

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