Ben Cavender

China might have invented the paper money, it is most likely also the first one to go fully cashless, says retail analyst Ben Cavender to Motherboard. “People basically run their lives through smartphones in China.”


Last month China Tech Insights released a report after polling Chinese WeChat users, that again underlined the rise of mobile payments. It found that in 2015, 65 percent of users spent less than 500 yuan ($73) a month through WeChat Pay, but in 2016 the figure had dropped to under 40 percent. Forty-five percent of users said they used WeChat Pay because they didn’t carry cash, with around 60 and 55 percent saying they used it because it was “fast” and “easy” respectively.

“People basically run their lives through smartphones in China,” said Ben Cavender, senior analyst at Shanghai-based China Market Research Group. “If you compare the US to China in terms of how people access the internet, China is much more heavily slanted toward smartphones. People are already spending so much time on their smartphones; it’s logical for them to have the tools they need in one place.”

More in Motherboard.

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