Foreigners visiting China are increasingly stumped by its cashless society

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Cashless is the last brick for Chinese dictatorship to keep people in a giant numeric jail.
In a fraction of second, they are removing your Wechat pay account and Alipay to reduce your paying option to 0 as they like.
There are now plenty of places where you simply can’t pay in China without these two CCP backed application.
Forcing the use of cashless also permit a perfect profiling of each individual with alarm is something change in the pattern.
Did he woke up early today as he took his breakfast outside?
Did he change the subway ride?
Did she just bought condom? pregnancy test?
Is he going too often to the doctor?
Is he a smoker? Alcoholic Drinker?
Everything is under the watch of CCP with even a more scary feature…The modification almost real time of your post on these chat app. You are writing something to your friends, but they see a modified version that pleased the government.
By forcing foreigners to download these, they are putting you also under their watch, with a nice picture of your passport to start with.


I mean, I agree that this is a boon for the Chinese government, for all the reasons you say.

But I’m skeptical that they’re actually behind this push. For one thing, they haven’t bothered to abolish the law saying that merchants have to take payment in cash.

And how would they be encouraging this move towards apps anyway?


“You really need the restroom, and the restroom only gives you toilet paper if you can do something strange with your phone,” she fumed.

“John Spartan, you are fined 1 credit for a violation of the verbal morality statute… John Spartan, you are fined 1 credit for a violation of the verbal morality statute… John Spartan, you are fined 1 credit for a violation of the verbal morality statute…”



By blocking all other competitive app not gov backed. Facebook, Whatsapp, lime… All is not working there to start with.
Wechat/Tencent, Alibaba are all with government ties, and big ones’s.
There is no way to run a business in China without CCP approval. They have bureau in any business even claimed as “private company”.
Nominating a director, choosing a doctor, a teacher,… the CCP is behind every single step a company can do. It’s simply reported at first, and they send back “advice” to be followed in order to renew your licence. Failure to do so and your business is over.
Huawei case is very easy to understand if you spend a bit of time in China. There is no way to run a business without approval and direction from the party.


No, I get that they block foreign run phone apps, and I know about the way the Party regulates companies.

What you haven’t explained is how they’re encouraging people to use AliPay and WeChat instead of cash.

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Is a company helping a dictatorship to control his people, is encouraged/promoted by this dictatorship?
Tencent/Alibaba are CCP governed.


Encouraged/promoted how?

Is the government giving people poor social credit scores when they pay with cash? Are they offering tax breaks to retailers that use app payment?

I absolutely believe that the Chinese government benefits from people using these apps instead of cash, and I’m quite certain they could coerce people into it, but you’ve yet to say anything which indicates they actually are.


Is the government giving people poor social credit scores when they pay with cash?

They give good score IF you use the app AND buy specific product
A manga from Japan and you lose point, a banana from a local farmer and you gain point.
I received this message once “Pay your electric bills on time to get good credit” within the Alipay app.

Are they offering tax breaks to retailers that use app payment?

Yes, they offer automatic loan if you have a positive balance at the end of the month.
They are many offers if you are using cashless app.
You received plenty of .5USD voucher to get all these connected to your account.

If you like to get a shared bike without a deposit, you need good credit.
Credit are now mandatory.
So it’s a complete system to keep everything in control.

Also, you just now can’t pre-book hotel, flight and train tickets without getting your credit checked WITH the app.
It’s a complete part of the surveillance system


I don’t know if this is how it works, but just spitballing:

The gov’t can choose to not enforce taxes and fees on the apps if they decide that they want to encourage their use.

The gov’t can add extra complexity to bookkeeping requirements for cash transactions.


The Party aims to achieve comprehensive surveillance of every citizen, so that the authorities can spot signs of discontent and opposition and deal with them before they pose a threat. Monitoring financial activity is another brick in the wall of total surveillance, with the specific benefit that going cashless makes tax evasion more difficult.


Right, thank you! That’s the explanation I was looking for!

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DavidVincent already gave an actual explanation, but I’m curious why you think an explanation of how the Party benefits from the increased use of these apps qualifies as an answer to my question of how they’re encouraging it.

What they get out of it and how they make people do it are two separate questions.


I hadn’t read your previous comments carefully enough. Apologies.

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No worries. :slightly_smiling_face:

Sorry, that was a bit sharp of me. I just seem to see that sort of thing a lot, where people answer an easier question, rather than the one someone was actually asking, and it’s not always because they were reading too quickly; sometimes they genuinely can’t see the difference. :unamused:

Probably the reason why it got picked up so quickly is that it is also convenient. THEY do it with a phone app WE do it with a plastic card. It is increasingly becoming a cashless society. I buy something from someone on Facebook Marketplace and before I can collect it my first stop is to an ATM or a retailer to draw cash. The Chinese also like to embrace technology and perhaps everybody has a mobile phone. That, combined with some direct government encouragement to traders pretty well shoehorns the public into acceptance. The “brownie points” system just makes it easier to comply. It’s a one way ticket to Dystopia, but China was well on the path before the digital age.


I’m sure the next step (if it isn’t there already) will be “offers you can’t refuse”. Don’t need that loan? Tough. Take it, and prove yourself by carrying a balance on it for at least 60 days (accruing interest and fees), or your social credit score gets docked.

Americans should read these stories as a preview of the gangster/surveillance capitalism that the “free”-market types have in store for us.


I have saw the system and it’s very simple.
They received a offer on their phone and the money will be automatically deduct from the coming months.
Do you want to received 1,000 USD? We did check and you can repay us if you keep at this pace in 6 months?
Please press here if agree.

and 2 click later; the money is there.
The bank is coming to you, not even a need for asking.

The speed is actually incredible. All is done in less than a minutes.
It’s quite safe on the bank side (Ant Financial to Google for more), as they have an extremely details view of people asset and lifestyle.


At least they’re still asking. For now. I wonder what happens if you don’t agree to take the loan. I’m assuming some kind of hit to your social credit score.

At a certain point, convenience and offers of easy credit aren’t enough to fulfill the holy corporate writ of endless growth. That’s where having a state capitalist system kicks in, and the corporations can work with their front officials to force people to consume.


Now, the downside if you can’t repay…
Obvioulsy, you are now a liability to the system.
Not only you don’t have money but you also lost your credit point.
-> No more plane tickets.
-> Only access to slow train ticketing system
-> Slower internet access.
-> In some district, a record message start each of the phone call you received or send. It’s something like “The person you are trying to reach is not reliable, do you want to connect anyways?”
-> Your Wechat contact can see that you have bad credit record, so they will try to remove you from their “friend list” as this will drag down their own sesame credit. (Yep, you read that right)
-> and the list keep going…

It’s like a punishment without any judgement and that will end only when you repay fully.
Let’s take an example of someone who invest in a business but did not work as expected and lose the bank money.
“How do you want me to repay you if I can’t run any business anymore? No one wants to contact me!”
Numeric jail with no need for police, no need for judge.
Guess plenty of government would have dreamed such system!