Is China slowly going cashless? In this country like no other, everything seems possible.
If you have already traveled to China, you may have found it almost impossible to use a foreign credit-card. For the Chinese citizens or the foreign residents, the main forms of payment were either cash or, until recently, the state-backed payment giant, UnionPay. It is therefore no big surprise that the country started to look at alternative ways of payment.
In 2017, almost 50% of Chinese citizens owned a smartphone. This number was largely due to the arrival, on the market, of more affordable, locally produced smartphones. And in the same way WhatsApp has changed the way we communicate, WeChat for China has become the essence of the communication in the Middle Kingdom. But very uniquely, WeChat is everything by itself: a social network, a tool to communicate, a geo-locator, a tool to meet people, a life style, a micro-blogging system, a way to pay for transport, and much much more. Now the social platform is about to make almost every payment possible. Would you like to order your breakfast on line and pay for it with your social app? How about sending money to your nanny?
Could living cashless become a reality?
If you are not intrigued yet, you may want to watch this video by Mamahuhu. This YouTube / Youku comedy show from Shanghai has now entertained expats and locals for the last few years. Their sketches put face to face the archetypes of Chinese and “Western” cultures.
In this quirky video, Mamahuhu presents their own take on a day in Shanghai, with just a phone.
If you are heading to China soon, is it time to consider using WeChat?