A unit of China’s central bank admonished new retail supermarket Hema for not accepting cash payments, highlighting the country’s increasing reliance on digital payment channels.

Consumers complained to the Shanghai branch of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), saying that the Alibaba-owned chain had refused their requests to pay in cash, reports Shanghai Securities News (in Chinese). Officials confirmed the claims after an investigation and requested Hema allow consumers to make cash payments.

Typically, users of Hema’s app are asked to provide details of their Alipay account or link their bank card to pay for Hema purchases.

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Jill Shen

Jill Shen is Shanghai-based technology reporter. She covers Chinese mobility, autonomous vehicles, and electric cars. Connect with her via e-mail: jill.shen@technode.com or Twitter: @yushan_shen