China has 414 million credit cards in use as of the first quarter of 2014, a rise of 5.83% from 391 million at the end of 2013, according to the People’s Bank of China (PBOC).
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank and China Merchants Bank – the top the top three credit card issuers in the country- accounted for more than 190 million credits in total.
During the January – March period of 2014, the credit card debt that has not been paid for at least six months in China increased to RMB28bn ($4.50bn) in the first quarter. Up 11.92% from the RMB25.19bn ($4bn) registered at the end of 2013.
"With the number of credit cards growing each quarter, more and more Chinese people tend to spend more than what they are earning, resulting to a sudden rise in bad loans at issuing banks," the PBOC said.