China has moved so fast into a cashless society, where everyone pays for everything with a mobile phone, that Chinese newspapers report beggars in major cities have started to place a printout of a QR code in their begging bowls so any passer-by can scan it and use mobile payment apps like Alibaba’s Alipay
.. Chinese men and women friends tell me they don’t carry purses or wallets anymore, only a mobile phone, which they use for everything — including for buying vegetables from street vendors.
.. the fact that China has 700 million people doing so many transactions daily on the mobile internet means it’s piling up massive amounts of information that can be harvested to identify trends and spur new artificial intelligence applications.
.. Trump’s broad complaint that China is not playing fair on trade and has grown in some areas at the expense of U.S. and European workers has merit and needs to be addressed — now
.. when the U.S. allowed China to join the World Trade Organization in 2001 and gain much less restricted access to our markets, we gave China the right to keep protecting parts of its market — because it was a “developing economy.” The assumption was that as China reformed and become more of our equal, its trade barriers and government aid to Chinese companies would melt away.
.. China grew in strength, became America’s equal in many fields and continued to protect its own companies from foreign competition, either by limiting access or demanding that foreign companies take on a Chinese partner and transfer their intellectual property to China as the price of access, or by funneling Chinese firms low-interest loans to grow and buy foreign competitors.
.. 81 percent of its members felt “less welcome” in China than in the past and had little confidence any longer that China would carry through on promises to open its markets.
.. China tells the world that its policy is “reform and opening,” but on the ground its policy “more resembles reform and closing.”
.. Alibaba can set up its own cloud server in America, but Amazon or Microsoft can’t do the same in China. China just agreed to allow U.S. credit card giants, like Visa and MasterCard, access to its huge market — something it was required to do under W.T.O. rules but just dragged its feet on for years
.. The world leader in industrial robots, the German company Kuka Robotics, was just bought by the Chinese company Midea; Beijing would never allow the U.S. to buy one of China’s industrial gems like that.
India is hardly alone in seeking to drive underground money into the banking system. But the scale, pace and finality of Mr. Modi’s action make it a stunning and painful test of what had to this point been a largely theoretical debate.
.. “The great task that the country wants to accomplish today is the realization of our dream of a cashless society,” the prime minister said in a recent radio address.
.. The lives of the poor, in particular—many of whom depend on irregular, off-the-books employment paid in cash—have been upended.
.. That was when Mr. Dastur noticed a problem: The new bills were slightly smaller than the old ones.
.. engineers would have to open up each of the nation’s ATMs and manually reconfigure the cash drawers before they could dispense the new notes—a process that NCR estimated could take two months.
.. The Modi administration insists there will eventually be big benefits, including better tax collection, improved surveillance of crime networks, and more accurate monitoring of commercial activity itself.
.. Defenders of cash see risks in those same capabilities—including a loss of privacy and a vast expansion of government power.
.. Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, writing in The Washington Post, argued, “It’s time to kill the $100 bill.”
.. Fewer than a third of Indians have a smartphone
.. Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff, author of “The Curse of Cash.” “That’s a big ally of governments.”