So from the first moment I landed off the plane, I noticed that Beijing, China is a little more advanced with some tech. I would not say that America does not have a lot of the stuff they have, because we have versions of it, but these versions just are not as popular.
In China the need for cash is becoming less and less important. The need for your phone however can be life and death, so making sure that my battery does not go dead is a key to survival. Here a lot of people use two apps to pay for their stuff, which is Wechat and Allipay. I am told we have Allipay in America, but I had never heard of it before arriving in Beijing.
When I first got here, some of my friends set up Chinese bank accounts so that they could pay for things using their phone. I, however, was not one of those people to sign up for a Chinese bank account, simply because I thought it was too much trouble and it takes a long time.
But by going through this process my friends opened up a portal into Chinese culture. Through their account they are able to basically buy anything you could imagine from their phone, along with gaining access to certain crazy features. Within the first month of being here, I watched a guy buy a drink out of a vending machine by scanning his face, which was connected to his Wechat. I will admit I found this slightly scary. I just think it is a little weird having your bank card be your face. Today, i watched my friend use her face to unlock the door to her dorm room builiding. Never would I have thought that this would be possible.
Amazingly Advanced Apps
But their payment technology is not the only thing that is seriously advanced. China also has some pretty advanced apps, like taobao, wechat, and their food delivery app ele.me. I think the reason that I consider these apps so advanced is because of the variety and unity of the apps.
The ele.me food delivery app, consist of so many different foods. A person can just look up the food they are desiring and it will pop up with how far away the place is and the food option that you want. People can order almost any food to be delivered to their doorstep. If only America had one food delivering app that enveloped many different restaurants. America would be a happier place with that technology.
One of the other apps that has just about everything a person can wish for is Taobao. I cannot even begin to name all of the different things a person can get off taobao. I read up on the app and found out that it can be a little rough if you have an American address, but luckily I currently do not, due to my homestay.
Lastly, there is Wechat which is like the big social media platform here. I am pretty sure every soul that roams these streets has a wechat, because it is kind of needed in order to survive China. Wechat is the only way that I am able to communicate with my study abroad group.
After discovering all these apps, I still appreciate the technology of America. I am not sure that I will ever want to pay for a drink with my face or have my face be the key to my home. But if I do wish to have these things, I know to go to China.