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 Invention”! Same as the four old 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!