Nov 7, 2019

Alipay provides foreigners tool to navigate an increasingly cashless China

Screenshot via @Alipay/Twitter

China has rapidly become one of the most cashless countries in the world. That's a big problem for foreigners who don't have a Chinese bank account, because outside the major tourist hubs few merchants accept credit cards.

The big picture: Two private payments systems dominate the Chinese market: Alipay and WeChat. But until now, you had to have a Chinese bank account in order to be able to use either of them.

What's new: Alipay has now managed to find a way of allowing foreigners to use its service. It's a bit convoluted, and involves using your passport and visa to open a new prepaid account at the Bank of Shanghai, but it's one step toward bringing the world's major payment systems a bit closer together.

Go deeper: China outpacing world on digital currencies

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India is the fastest-growing adopter of mobile payments

A billboard promoting e-payments in Mumbai. Photo: Indranil Mukherjee/AFP via Getty Images

Americans continue to rely on their credit cards, while the rest of the world rapidly moves toward mobile payments.

The big picture: China is the clear leader, with nearly half of the population paying for goods with their phones. But the fastest growth in the adoption of e-payments is happening in India.

Go deeperArrowNov 14, 2019

Grassley condemns World Bank loans to China amid Uighur detentions

Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) delivered a speech on the floor of the Senate Thursday calling for scrutiny into the World Bank's $50 million loan approved for China's Xinjiang region, where nearly a million Uighur Muslims have been detained in internment camps.

Why it matters: The speech comes days after the House voted overwhelmingly in favor of a bill pushing for sanctions on China over its mass detention of the ethnic minority, as Congress continues to pressure U.S.-based organizations that may be complicit.

Go deeperArrowDec 5, 2019

Grassley questions World Bank on Xinjiang loan

Malpass (L) with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has requested a meeting with the World Bank over a $50 million loan approved for China's Xinjiang region, where upwards of one million ethnic minorities have been detained, in a letter obtained exclusively by Axios.

Why it matters: Congress is ramping up scrutiny of China's mass internment in Xinjiang — with a special eye on any U.S.-based organization that might be complicit.

Go deeperArrowDec 4, 2019