Cash has taken hundreds of years to establish its status as a common medium for trade, but it is quickly turning obsolete across China. Replacing it, the ubiquitous QR code-based mobile payment solutions operated by internet giants like Alibaba and Tencent.

From flagship stores of top-notch luxury brands to street butcher shops, payment through third-party apps is as valid as cash itself, only with faster and less of a hassle. Data from research institution iResearch shows that the value of China’s mobile payments market tripled to more than RMB 38.5 trillion ($5.6 trillion) in 2016 and is projected to reach RMB 55 trillion in 2017.

Now the same mobile payment craze that has taken China is making a foray into overseas markets. Alipay and WeChat Pay, the two third-party payment tools that nearly split China’s mobile payment market, are pushing the trend.

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.