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For how much longer will foreigners be second class technological citizens in China?

For how much longer will foreigners be second class technological citizens in China?

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Old Apr 15, 19, 11:29 pm
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
Wechat and Alipay are both superior to Octupus in every conceivable way.
So? Beside, that's not the point.
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Old Apr 15, 19, 11:53 pm
  #17  
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Umm, octopus can used on subways, buses, chained convenience stores, and low end restaurants. The only way to recharge it is to physically add cash; even they figured out bank links, they would still need to address the complete lack of security.

Wechat and Alipay, by contrast, can be used for pretty much everything under the sun, and there is no need to ever contemplate reloading.

This is categorically better technology.
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Old Apr 15, 19, 11:54 pm
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Originally Posted by garykung View Post
So? Beside, that's not the point.
I think his point is that the slow uptake of Alipay/Wechat in HK is not necessarily due to Octopus as you seem to suggest. It is likely more due to the fact that HK is an extremely slow moving society from a tech perspective. While many countries are moving in the cash-less direction, HK is still very much a cash dependent society (e.g. 90% of taxis only accepting cash as payment). Not to mention e-commerce which is nearly non-existent in HK compared to many other parts of Asia (with China leading the way) - not to mention other parts of the world.

In fact, many payment providers/systems in Europe are adopting features from Alipay/Wechat, so even though the tech isn't necessarily new -- many of the ideas and implementations certainly are.
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Old Apr 16, 19, 12:39 am
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
This is categorically better technology.
Originally Posted by Kilian Zoll View Post
I think his point is that the slow uptake of Alipay/Wechat in HK is not necessarily due to Octopus as you seem to suggest. It is likely more due to the fact that HK is an extremely slow moving society from a tech perspective. While many countries are moving in the cash-less direction, HK is still very much a cash dependent society (e.g. 90% of taxis only accepting cash as payment). Not to mention e-commerce which is nearly non-existent in HK compared to many other parts of Asia (with China leading the way) - not to mention other parts of the world.
My point is to bring up how a system may work for an instance but not others, but not comparing one system with another system.

Also - each system is designed for different purposes. For instances, despite its payment features, Octopus is primarily a smartcard for public transportation. On the other hand, Alipay or Wechat Pay are basically electronic wallets.
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Old Apr 16, 19, 2:01 am
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Originally Posted by garykung View Post
My point is to bring up how a system may work for an instance but not others, but not comparing one system with another system.

Also - each system is designed for different purposes. For instances, despite its payment features, Octopus is primarily a smartcard for public transportation. On the other hand, Alipay or Wechat Pay are basically electronic wallets.
Most, if not all, mainland cities with subway systems also have smart cards (many work in taxis, which I understand Octopus pretty much gave up on 10 years ago), but these are rapidly being replaced by apps that are connected to WeChat, Alipay, and directly to banks.
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Old Apr 16, 19, 4:14 am
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"The only way to recharge it is to physically add cash; even they figured out bank links, they would still need to address the complete lack of security."

Not true! Octopus cards that automatically add value from your bank account are available; no need to do anything to recharge. There's a low limit on the maximum value of the card, usually HK$250, and this is the amount of the automatic recharge. The low value makes it as secure as the cash in your wallet. That and the fact that Hong Kong is quite a safe place.

As to taxis and Octopus, it's the taxis that refuse to install it.
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Old Apr 16, 19, 4:19 am
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Originally Posted by 889 View Post

As to taxis and Octopus, it's the taxis that refuse to install it.
I vaguely recall that acceptance used to be semi common ~15 years ago. Any idea why they turned against it?
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Old Apr 16, 19, 4:37 am
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
I vaguely recall that acceptance used to be semi common ~15 years ago. Any idea why they turned against it?
End of shift, driver pays rental and go home with his money. No need to wait for payment reconciliation and pay a third party.
Uber: no need for "customer" to have cash and you get a detail receipt for purpose of expense record.
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Old Apr 16, 19, 4:40 am
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You'd have to ask a taxi driver, but the general impression is that they prefer the secrecy of cash, and think round-up tips would disappear with Octopus. (I don't recall Octopus ever being common in HK taxis.)
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Old Apr 16, 19, 4:43 am
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Ali and WeChat payment are available in many places in HK to accommodate the big spenders from the North.
These two payment methods have quite a penetration in the high end outlets in the US and Canada as well. Same customer demographics?
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Old Apr 16, 19, 4:46 am
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Originally Posted by Kilian Zoll View Post
I think his point is that the slow uptake of Alipay/Wechat in HK is not necessarily due to Octopus as you seem to suggest. It is likely more due to the fact that HK is an extremely slow moving society from a tech perspective. While many countries are moving in the cash-less direction, HK is still very much a cash dependent society (e.g. 90% of taxis only accepting cash as payment). Not to mention e-commerce which is nearly non-existent in HK compared to many other parts of Asia (with China leading the way) - not to mention other parts of the world.

In fact, many payment providers/systems in Europe are adopting features from Alipay/Wechat, so even though the tech isn't necessarily new -- many of the ideas and implementations certainly are.
Bolding mine and to prove your point: Launch of new eTaxi app in Hong Kong hailed as ‘historic’

"With increasing numbers of taxis accepting Octopus electronic payments instead of cash, Hong Kong will enter the cashless era and move closer to becoming a smart city”

This is published today. In April of 2019. While it may be historic in the sense that it was a common effort (but then, why have only 10% of cabbies signed up?) it proves how far behind we are when it comes to cashless payments. Personally, I am not unhappy about it as I prefer the relative anonymity of the Octopus system vs. anything linked to me personally.
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Old Apr 16, 19, 5:46 am
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Launch vs public adoption at the provider or customer end are two different issues.
I remember all the "machine not working" and "no connection" in Singapore when these first rolled out.
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Old Apr 16, 19, 6:32 am
  #28  
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This thread has prompted me to think about how/why Wechat and Alipay managed to achieve dominant positions wrt payment.

I am guessing that there are hundreds of payment specialist companies around the world that are almost on the same level technology wise. The thing is, to get merchants to take you seriously, adoption matters.

Wechat had already established itself as the default messaging app, which replaced sms for more than half of China.

Meanwhile, Alipay rose on the coat tails of taobao as ecommerce took hold in China.

In both cases, they were too big for merchants to ignore.
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Old Apr 16, 19, 7:56 am
  #29  
 
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Just finished a one-month trip to China. I did fine without these technologies although once in a while a clerk would be annoyed having to get me change in small coins.
I took several trains. Virtually no wait to pick-up tickets. And security is now much faster. All Chinese go through an electronic gate to enter. So there is nobody at the desk where they compare your passport with your tickets.
In any case, tickets are supposed to disappear by the end of the year. We (foreigners) may be the only people at the ticket counters.
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Old Apr 16, 19, 7:58 am
  #30  
 
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All these things are built to monitor the Chinese. They know where everybody is, what they do, what they buy, etc. For foreigners, they just want to track our whereabouts. They pretty much know everything that they care to know about us. With face recognition, they will also track you rather well.
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