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Amazing China - A 5-year Miracle: How crazy is China's mobile pay?


10-09-2017 11:51 BJT

Editor’s Note: As the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) will open soon, CCTV.com had produced a 20-episode special series, 'Amazing China - A 5-year Miracle,’ that cover the hottest topics in the country during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first 5-year term in office. Our CCTV Panview team brings you a closer look...

Why is Thomas from Germany celebrating with so much enthusiasm? Like many foreigners in China, he is enjoying the convenience of a "life without cash."

Over the past five years, China has embraced a life on-line.  Some expats here in China, as well as Chinese themselves have dubbed the phenomenon, China's "Four New Great Internet Innovations"! Same as the old four inventions, it is their new technology that transforms people's lives.

One of these four – and the one that appears to be floating Thomas' boat – is mobile payment, in which China is now leading the world in scale, scope, convenience and coverage.

So pervasive is the trend, that robbers would be hard pressed to find any cash to steal from in a modern Chinese store.

Consider a normal day for someone living in China.

You wake up in the morning, go and buy breakfast on the street and pay by scanning with your smart phone.

In the subway station, you scan with your smart phone to purchase your ticket.

If, after getting off the train, you find there is not enough time to walk to the office, you scan the code for a shared-bicycle – aka "ofo" bicycle – and ride to work in minutes.

Time for lunch? You and your coworkers find a good restaurant nearby by using a smart phone-based app that allows for group purchases.

After lunch, you go to the nearby supermarket to buy some bottled water, maybe a magazine from a kiosk too, all paid for with your smart phone.

You can also go shopping online during your break. With a bit of luck, you will get it by the time you arrive home.

And when you are tired by the end of the day, you can simply use an app to order food delivery. The delivery cost is about a dollar and the food will be at your door in just 30 minutes. The smart phone can handle payment for taxis, utilities, and even hospital bills! And savvy street performers will display a sign with a QR code, so as not to miss out on any tips!

This is a glimpse into the life of most Chinese – allowing you to bid farewell to the wallet and bank cards.

Meanwhile, if you run out of battery charge… no worries! You just plug it in to a shared charging point.

These developments are encouraged by the Chinese government under its "Internet-plus" strategy.

Stimulated by an online economy, traditional Chinese businesses are also growing fast and creating more employment opportunities.

While online commerce is booming, with retail sales already accounting for one-third of the national total, the employment in the Internet industry has reached a staggering number of 16.772 million. The logistics industry has developed even faster, now accounting for 6.5% of China's employment with 50.12 million employees.

And the life of Chinese people has changed, since they are... living life at their fingertips!

(The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )

Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

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