China UnionPay, China’s largest electronic payment network, will expand its network into second- and third-tier cities, state media reported. The company hopes that debit card use will reach 10% of total retail sales in second-tier cities by the end of 2008. Chinese consumers still favor cash for retail transactions on the whole, though bank cards are growing in popularity. In 2007, bank card transactions rose 40.9% over the previous year, with total transaction value up 78.4%. The company has said it is targeting growth in areas including Xinjiang, Ningxia, Gansu, and Qinghai.