Beggars in Jinan in China’s eastern province of Shandong use QR codes, the technology used by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s [NYSE:BABA] Alipay and Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s [HKG:0700] WeChat Wallet, in hopes of getting money transferred to them by passersby with smartphones.
One panhandler in Jinan’s Wangfu Chizi held a basket with a QR code on it, China.org.cn report, citing accounts from internet users.
The basket-bearer reportedly suffers from mental illness and the QR code was given to him by his family. When reporters’ search for him failed, local business owners said that the beggars might not be ‘working’ due to the rain, but are always around when the weather is good.
Residents living in areas frequented by tourists, such as Qushuiting Street and Wangfu Chizi, said that some local beggars use WeChat — and some even have a POS (point of sale) machine.