Going cashless has become the new normal for Tibetans to make online purchases and payments, the state-media claimed today citing the nearly 1.7 million internet connections linked to cellphones in the remote Himalayan region.
Restaurants, souvenir shops, and movie theatres all provide online payment services. QR codes have become common on vendor booths selling Tibetan jewellery, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Figures from the Tibet communication administration bureau said the number of Internet users in Tibet had reached 1.639 million as of March. An account statement from Alipay, China’s e-payment platform also showed that 83.3 per cent of payments in Tibet were conducted via mobile phones in 2015, topping the country for four years in a row.
“This year’s online transactions rose significantly compared to previous years,” the report quoted Norbu, an employee at a People’s Bank of China branch in Lhasa, the provincial capital of Tibet.“Partly because more stores accept online payments, but more importantly, it shows a change in consumption and payment habits among the public in Tibet,” he said.