Grapes and cashless discrimination in China
In Jixi, Heilongjiang province, an elderly man was humiliated for trying to pay for his grapes with cash at a cashless supermarket, drawing global attention issues of cashless discrimination within the People's Republic of China.
In a country where Alipay and WeChat seem to dominate the headlines, the Chinese government's recent attempts to tackle cashless overhype by mid August 2018 has not stopped supermarkets from discriminating against those who use cash as their primary, if not only, payment form.
Will it take further public outbursts to remind tech-hyped merchants why the most practical payment option—cash—matters to the people? Only time will tell...
The 67-year-old man, identified only by his surname Xie, tried to use cash to buy the fruit at a supermarket in Jixi, Heilongjiang province, on Sunday, video news site Pear Video reported.
Checkout workers rejected the money and insisted that he use his phone to pay via either WeChat Pay or Alipay, prompting the argument, according to the video.
“I’ll leave if you don’t take the cash,” Xie said in the clip.
“Well, leave if you can,” the cashier replied.
Xie took the grapes and approached the door but was stopped by security guards.
“I know it’s not right to leave without paying...But I have real yuan in my hands. It’s not fake money. Why are you humiliating this old man for not knowing how to use WeChat?”
Alipay is owned by Alibaba, which owns the South China Morning Post.
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In a bid to stop people from discriminating against cash, The People's Bank of China announced on Friday that all businesses and individuals must resume accepting cash by mid August 2018.
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