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US merchants adopt Chinese app payments to draw big spenders

Alipay and WeChat Pay charge into North America

A display promotes WeChat Pay and Alipay during the Money 20/20 conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.   © Reuters

NEW YORK -- In China, Zhang Youtian does not carry cash or credit cards. Instead, he pays for everything using the Alipay and WeChat Pay apps on his smartphone. When he heard that merchants in New York, where he has lived for seven years, were adopting those forms of payment, the recent college graduate was excited.

"If I saw that they had it in a store, I'd definitely try it," Zhang said. "It's convenient. You don't have to sign. Just scan and finish the transaction."

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