Global Editions

How China got a head start in fintech, and why the West won’t catch up

Payment apps like Alipay and WeChat transformed daily life in China. The West won’t see a similar payments revolution—and that might even be a good thing.
by Martin Chorzempa

In 2013 I moved from Paris to Beijing to study China’s financial system. I stayed for two years and became fluent enough to translate economics books from Mandarin into English and give talks on monetary policy in Mandarin. But I never really felt I fit in until I visited again and Alipay finally approved me (foreigners can have…


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