After reading the “Technology Disruption and Investing” thread beginning at post 29465, I thought this was an interesting real-time example of rapid uptake of a disruptive technology.
Almost everyone in major Chinese cities is using a smartphone to pay for just about everything. At restaurants, a waiter will ask if you want to use WeChat or Alipay — the two smartphone payment options — before bringing up cash as a third, remote possibility.
Just as startling is how quickly the transition has happened. Only three years ago there would be no question at all, because everyone was still using cash.
“From a tech standpoint, this is probably one of the single most important innovations that has happened first in China, and at the moment it’s only in China,” said Richard Lim, managing director of venture capital firm GSR Ventures.
I don’t know where the information on China is coming from, but I spend two to three months there every year. I was there earlier this year in late winter and spring. We traveled around a bit. We used cash everywhere for everything but the Marriot hotel bill in Sanya (that got charge to my Visa card). No one anywhere ever brought up the option of paying via Weixin (We Chat) or Alipay. At the retail level, China remains largely a cash society.
I don’t know where the information on China is coming from
All I know is what I read in the papers…
Things are moving very very fast in China. I’m going there next week so happy to report what I see. What I can say is that one of the meetings I am having next week is to meet with Tencent and see whether we can strike an agreement to enable our health platform to accept WePay as a payment form for Mainland Chinese & HK users.
Almost everyone in major Chinese cities is using a smartphone to pay for just about everything.
Hi Kentucky Jack,
Welcome to the board. That was an extraordinary article. Thanks for posting the link to the board. My daughter who is working in Beijing has told me the same thing.
OK, Shanghai, Beijing . . . Probably ChongQing and a few other mega-cities. But I’ve not seen this trend anywhere I’ve been. I spend most of my time in cities on the order of 1M souls.
But, like the article says, things change fast in China, and that’s an understatement - just shy of light speed would be closer to the mark. Maybe when I return next year I’ll have to figure out how to link my BofA account to my Weixin account.