Old World Meets High Tech

When I went to a Chinese Wet market today, I stood out. It wasn’t because I was a dà bí zi 大鼻子, big nose American, but because I didn’t use my phone to pay. No one uses cash anymore.

The Peanut-butter lady couldn’t make change, so I had to wait until there was another cash carrying shopper. The blue sign under the Stonehenge Peanut grinder is what you scan with your phone. The black stuff next to the peanuts is ground black sesame seeds.

This girl was making the Chinese version of Rice Krispies treats and took payments with App! Crackle! Pop!


The line for noodles (Mixian) would have been twice as slow if they didn’t accept payments with phones.

Luckily, the potato chip maker still took cash, unlike the Vegetable Man behind him. (You can see his little green sign).

There’s a few of us left in China who still use cash.


What’s WeChat? It’s the Chinese Facebook with a payment application that is accepted in more places than American Express. About a billion more.

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