News ways of making and spending money with your phone – China’s latest business and technology news


Tech in Asia has an article highlighting five innovative ways that Chinese consumers are spending money using their phones, and only one of them is the on-demand rental services that media outlets — including us — have written about ad nauseum and that the market is now increasingly becoming oversaturated with. Here are the other four:

  • Location-based freelancing through Alipay, which allows you to essentially pay someone in your immediate vicinity to do a small chore for you, for up to $30.
  • Paid group challenges through a WeChat app called “Knowledge Circle,” where all participants buy in with up to $750 to complete a daily task for a set number of days, and risk losing their money unless they provide daily proof of completion.
  • Tipping for content primarily on WeChat via QR codes, which have apparently become a reliable enough revenue stream for some bloggers that there was a fierce backlash when Apple attempted to shut down in-app tipping.
  • Paying to ask questions via mobile app Fenda, which first became popular as a way to reach celebrities, but is now more often used to request advice from professionals like lawyers and psychiatrists.

Tech in Asia notes a report (paywall) from Beijing- and Shanghai-based internet research firm iResearch, which estimates that China’s mobile payment industry will reach $14 trillion by the end of this year, up from just $8.8 trillion in 2016.


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Lucas Niewenhuis

Lucas Niewenhuis is an associate editor at SupChina who helps curate daily news and produce the company’s newsletter, app, and website content. Previously, Lucas researched China-Africa relations at the Social Science Research Council and interned at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He has studied Chinese language and culture in Shanghai and Beijing, and is a graduate of the University of Michigan.