Crazy Ways QR Codes Are Used in China

If you’ve been to our WeChat workshop we held last month, you’ll know what a big fan we are of WeChat! We talked about how you can use WeChat for your business, and the various functions you can use in WeChat.

But did you know how much QR codes have proliferated across China? Apart from giving red packets virtually, you can also donate to beggars, locate your lost pet by scanning QR codes, and even learn all about the history of a deceased person?

The possibilities of QR code use are infinite. Below we share some unusual uses:

  1. Send digital money at weddings

When it comes to auspicious occasions like marriage and births, nothing says a gift better than cash. In China, this process of gifting has been virtualized.

You can simply scan a QR code at the reception to gift your wedding money, as pictured below.


  1. Donate virtually

Even begging has gone digital. With the proliferation of mobile wallets through WeChat, it’s hard to pretend you don’t have small change when you pass these street beggars when you will most likely always have your phones with you.

All you have to do is scan the QR codes on them to donate.


  1. Identify pets

Lost a pet? Fear not.

Pets are now identifiable with a unique QR code. All you have to do when you find a missing pet is scan its code to find the pet’s contact information. The pet owner will then be notified when and where the code was scanned!


  1. Post and apply for jobs

Recall the times you looked at jobs board outside bus stops for jobs in demand? And how there are slips for you to tear out for contact information that are stuck on lamp posts?

All these can now be replaced with QR codes. Simply scan the QR code to find out more about the job opportunities and requirements. No more jostling for limited advertising space!


  1. …and the dead.

Since people in China are so obsessed with the idea of QR codes, even the dead are not spared. More and more tombstones in China are engraved with QR codes that immortalize the life story of the deceased — through biographies, photographs, and videos.

Oba puts his mobile phone to scan a bar-code placed on his family's tomb in Kofu

  1. Sharing bikes

Of course, we’re not foreign to using QR codes to unlock the public bikes that roam the streets of Singapore. Bike-sharing is also a common sight in China. There are over 8 to 10 million shared bikes on city streets this year.

You only have to scan a QR code printed on the bicycle to unlock them and start riding. QR codes are especially suited for this use because each bicycle has a unique code, allowing your device to track its exact location. After connecting your account with the bicycle, your app can then track your mileage and entire journey. That’s how efficient digitising is!




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