Breaking the code: Behind Alipay's & WeChat's overseas push

China's fintech leaders are expanding across Asia into payments based on QR code technology. This push poses a threat to users' privacy across the region and represents a risk for investors.

Millions of Chinese tourists flocked overseas for this year’s Labour Day public holiday and their mobile phone data shows a surprising number of them love American fast food. This is a mere nugget of the kind of information that mobile payments app Alipay routinely collects.

The Chinese firm, which is controlled by e-commerce billionaire Jack Ma, also reported that most of its app users on their holidays abroad between April 29 and May 1 went to either Hong Kong or Thailand. In addition, two-thirds of them were female and 85% were either born in the 1980s or 1990s.

Such an invasion of privacy is becoming more commonplace...

¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.

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