What makes the smartphone truly powerful in China is that you can pay for everything using the phone. Not just in China’s large cities like Shanghai or football field sized shopping destinations such as China Mall in capital Beijing, but also in small towns and villages and tiny establishments.
Millions of entrepreneurs do business on mega platforms run by Alibaba and WeChat. China’s fintech growth, on the back of these platforms, has been unprecedented. With a record $12.8 trillion in mobile payment transactions in the 10 months to October last year, China even surpassed the United States, at only $49.3 billion during that period.
Mainly two apps – WeChat and Alipay – make all this possible. These apps owned by Chinese internet giants Tencent and Alibaba, respectively, control 93% of the country’s mobile payments market. As China pursued an industrial policy that made it the factory of the world and millions of Chinese came out of poverty, these apps played a big role in making their lives easier in the mainland.
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