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mungouk

Here it comes: WeChat Pay and Alipay for foreigners

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vellocet

China was the country to invent paper money and will be the first to eliminate it.

 

I've never had cash turned down.  But I definitely have had them unable to make change.  Usually they want to take your 100 and give you change on Wechat.

 

I also tried to pay for a 20 yuan coffee at Luckin, and they flat-out refused.  Download the app of GTFO.  I think they're not even a coffee shop.  They're going to build the app until you can buy overseas vacations and custom artwork and investment properties on it.  And it'll have ads from here to next Sunday.  The whole point of the coffee is to get people to install the app, and then they go from there.  

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Dawei3
1 hour ago, vellocet said:

But I definitely have had them unable to make change. 

This is an excellent point.  I've not faced this yet, but I could easily imagine it happening.  I'll have to make sure I keep small bills with me (I don't have wechat pay). 

 

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889

"The whole point of the coffee is to get people to install the app, and then they go from there."

 

Yes. I went into a barbershop, to get a haircut what else. No dice until I downloaded a Wechat mini-app and made a booking and paid using it. All for just a haircut! Instead I left. Note too that those cheap haircut stalls you usually find right outside big supermarkets operate on a buy-a-ticket-first basis, and the machines usually accept only QR code payments.

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DavyJonesLocker
10 hours ago, vellocet said:

I also tried to pay for a 20 yuan coffee at Luckin, and they flat-out refused. 

 

 

could you use wechat? or do they just refuse paper money?

 

 

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vellocet

Flat-out refused cash.  No wechat wallet.

 

Download the app, install it, I'm sure give it your phone number with 2FA, and then allow it whatever permissions it demands, location, contacts list, etc.  Only then may you order a coffee.  First one's free!  Yeah, because they make more than that cost on the profit of your data they just gathered and will continue to gather as long as the app is installed.  To say nothing of the ads they will sell on it someday.  

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Balthazar

According to my wife, it's actually illegal for companies to refuse cash payments in China, but it's not really enforced. Same as in Norway (illegal to not accept cash payments), where there's been a recent focus on stores/offices that only accept payment by card/mobile (including public clinics...).

 

Edit: Here's an article mentioning Luckin Coffee's practice:

 



At Luckin Coffee, the Chinese start-up that just was valued at $2.2bn in a $200m funding round last month, staffers at four outlets in Beijing and Shanghai said the company did not accept cash.

“All the franchised outlets of Luckin should order on our app and pay online,” said a staffer at a branch in Shanghai’s Huangpu district.

Pressed about the law forbidding merchants to refuse cash, the staffer agreed to accept a banknote and use his own mobile phone to complete the official payment.Luckin did not respond to requests for comment.

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DavyJonesLocker
2 hours ago, Balthazar said:

According to my wife, it's actually illegal for companies to refuse cash payments in China, but it's not really enforced.

 

 

I really never  understand this dichotomy between law and enforcement especially in a one party state like China.  

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889

"If there's been a policy change and foreigners are no longer allowed to open bank accounts without a valid (non-tourist) visa, then I'd say perseverance in this case is a fool's errand."

 

Here's a report posted elsewhere just today of a foreigner opening a bank account with tourist visa:

 

"I managed to open a basic ATM cash card bank account in the past couple of days, and link it to WeChat and Alipay. I am an infrequent but recurring visitor to China with a Tourist Visa, and just went to a few of the larger national bank branches in Qingdao and eventually got some sympathy at China Merchants Bank after being told several times at other banks/branches it was not possible."

 

So to repeat, with perseverance and some luck, opening a bank account with an L visa still seems possible if your stars are aligned right. Just keep trying.

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Lu
On 1/16/2020 at 10:41 PM, m000gle said:

however, I am not clear for how long a foreign national, who is no longer resident in China, is able to keep their bank account (and therefor the link WeChat/AliPay wallet open) after moving back overseas.

I left China in April 2013; last time I checked (summer 2018) my bank account with the Bank of China was still in working order. I don't know if there is a time limit to bank accounts, so far I've assumed it will continue to just sit there with a little bit of money in it. The account is linked to my WeChat account. But I never attempted to make any payments with it.

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889

I don't think it has to do with your visa status, but if there's no activity in the account for a few years, then I assume it'll become dormant. Always good to check in online or such at least once a year.

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