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WeChat Pay joins Alipay in allowing international credit cards

WeChat Pay joins Alipay in allowing international credit cards
Mobile payments are so ubiquitous in China that even outdoor markets make sure their QR codes are prominently displayed for easy payment. (Picture: Simon Song/SCMP)

WeChat Pay now supports international credit cards for foreign visitors, Tencent announced yesterday. Supported cards include Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover and JCB.

This will be the first time foreign visitors will be able to use international credit cards to pay with WeChat Pay in China. However, it’s limited to certain online services for now. Tencent said international cards can be used to pay for dozens of online services, including ride-hailing service Didi, ecommerce app JD.com, travel booking app Ctrip and 12306, the official train ticket booking site run by China Railway.

WeChat Pay’s announcement comes after rival Alipay launched a mini-program that also lets people use international credit cards to top-up a prepaid card. Previously, people needed a Chinese bank account to use Alipay in China. China’s central bank is also pushing to let underserved populations join the cashless trend, including foreigners and rural residents without bank accounts.

(Abacus is a unit of the South China Morning Post, which is owned by Alibaba, whose affiliate Ant Financial operates Alipay.)

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Tencent has a new Tinder clone for 'high quality socializing'
Tencent has a new Tinder clone for 'high quality socializing'
Qingliao only shows users a limited number of profiles at a time. (Picture: Qingliao/iOS App Store)

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Man sues NetEase after his friend sells a US$1.4 million game character for US$500
Man sues NetEase after his friend sells a US$1.4 million game character for US$500
The local court touted this case as an example of how judges can mediate cases remotely. (Picture: Sichuan High Court)

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Didi will soon roll out a self-driving taxi service in Shanghai
Didi will soon roll out a self-driving taxi service in Shanghai
Didi’s autonomous driving team is developing and testing self-driving vehicles in both China and the US, the company says. (Picture: Didi)

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The Vivo S1 Pro for Southeast Asia has a brand new look
The Vivo S1 Pro for Southeast Asia has a brand new look
The new Vivo S1 Pro for Southeast Asia looks nothing like the one that launched in China earlier this year. (Picture: Vivo)

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The Three-Body Problem animation trailer is getting mixed reactions
The Three-Body Problem animation trailer is getting mixed reactions
Former US President Barack Obama and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg have both read The Three-Body Problem. (Picture: Bilibili)

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China says its first permanent space station will be ready by 2022
China says its first permanent space station will be ready by 2022
Chinese astronauts Jing Haipeng (left) and Chen Dong (right) entering the Tiangong-2 space lab on October 19, 2016. (Picture: Xinhua)
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Xiaomi patent shows a foldable phone similar to the Motorola Razr
Xiaomi patent shows a foldable phone similar to the Motorola Razr
Motorola’s new Razr has an additional touch screen on the outside, but Xiaomi’s outside display looks considerably smaller. (Picture: National Intellectual Property Administration)

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