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Cashless Revolution

As the use of mobile payment has grown in China, wallets have become more fashion accessories than practical objects.

By NewsChina Updated Aug.1

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As the use of mobile payment has grown in China, wallets have become more fashion accessories than practical objects. Whether at luxury department stores in the big city or local country fairs, paying by scanning a QR code has become easy and common. In February 2017, Alipay, one of the two biggest payment providers on mobile devices, claimed that it would make China a cashless society within five years. Alipay and rival Tencent’s WeChat payment system account for over 90 percent of the country’s market share of third-party payments on mobile devices. According to Research and Markets, a consultancy firm, the total value of payments made through mobile devices is expected to hit US$2 trillion in 2020, with an annual increase of 142 percent year on year, if current growth rates continue. That’s put an awful lot of credit and consumption data in the hands of a few firms, who are now looking for ways to monetize and market it. Whether the authorities can regulate that process in a way that keeps everyone’s information safe, though, is another question.

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