Will Macron’s visit promote Chinese online payment services in France?
By CGTN's The Point
Not long before French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to China, a young Frenchman called Gangdan, who has lived in China for eight years, complained in a video he posted online about his home country’s backwardness in terms of fin-tech compared with China.
In the clip, he “blamed” Tencent for getting himself addicted to its communication platform WeChat, a messaging app that offers multifunction services, especially WeChat Pay, a service not yet available in France.
“I don't need to take my wallet, not even cash there, but we still need to use bank card here and we also need cash,” he complained.
“Regarding the French market, our business priority is to help outbound Chinese tourists in their travels. We provide them with a convenient payment method, they don’t need to exchange currency, they don’t have to carry a wallet, just like they do domestically,” Wan Li, from Tencent's WeChat team explained.
He also mentioned that WeChat Pay is available in business sectors in France. As for serving ordinary French people, he said that as regulations and demand caught up with certain requirements, they certainly would address this issue in the near future.
Xu Qinduo, a current affairs commentator, thought that even though Chinese online payment systems are willing to go abroad and provide services for local people, they incur many challenges.
“Alipay [another Chinese online payment system] is trying to do that in the United States, but their acquisition was rejected by the US side on concerns of national security. It’s really up to the home countries whether they accept or welcome Alipay or WeChat Pay,” he said.
Philippe Monnier, Director at technology company WayRay SA, agreed, arguing that market forces should play a more important role while political elements should be as small as possible.
“Many countries in the world are trying to be as advanced as possible in fin-tech,” he said. “In terms of online payments, the number one in the world is China. Probably it is not only to do with technology, but also with Chinese people’s very fast adoption of new technologies,” he concluded.
The Point with Liu Xin is a 30-minute current affairs program on CGTN. It airs weekdays at 9.30 p.m. BJT (1330GMT), with rebroadcasts at 5.30 a.m. (2130GMT) and 10.30 a.m. (0230GMT).