NYTimes – In Urban China, Cash Is Rapidly Becoming Obsolete

The cashless phenomenon, largely confined to China, has been remarkably swift. Mobile payments reached $5.5 trillion in 2016 – even buskers are in on the act.

July 16, 2017

There is an audacious economic phenomenon happening in China.

It has nothing to do with debt, infrastructure spending or the other major economic topics du jour. It has to do with cash — specifically, how China is systematically and rapidly doing away with paper money and coins.

Almost everyone in major Chinese cities is using a smartphone to pay for just about everything. At restaurants, a waiter will ask if you want to use WeChat or Alipay — the two smartphone payment options — before bringing up cash as a third, remote possibility.’

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