China's 'four new inventions' that foreigners relish
When asked what they would like to take home from China, young interviewees from 20 countries along the Belt and Road pointed to the convenient take-out ordering services and “four great new inventions.”
The four inventions, in the eyes of the foreigners, are high-speed rail, Alipay, shared bikes and online shopping, according to a survey by the Silk Road Research Institute of Beijing Foreign Studies University.
The conveniences may be new to the foreigners but are no strangers to people in Guangzhou who have gotten used to these services as part of their daily life. Let’s see how far Guangzhou has progressed with these four services.
High-speed rail in Guangzhou is sprawling across the landscape in an appalling way. With the completion of multiple rail lines, bullet trains from Guangzhou are taking passengers north or west to 20 other provinces. Hong Kong will only be 48 minutes away by train by 2018. And savoring morning tea in Guangzhou and sightseeing in the afternoon at Dianchi Lake in Kunming in southwest China is no longer a dream.
Guangzhou also plans to install eight railway stations in the city, and a train trip to Southeast Asia will also be possible in the future, according to the city’s 2016-2030 planning perspective. With China’s high-speed railway going global, more countries will benefit from the technology.
You may pay bills at home, shop on your smart phone, buy e-tickets beforehand, or scan the QR code after dinner at a restaurant. What’s the use for cash when you have Alipay taking care of almost everything?
In Guangzhou, even the kiosk downstairs and the local market across the street have an Alipay QR code for customers. An increasing number of stores and services are joining the trend. With the transit card Yangchengtong teaming up with Alipay, one may take a bus or the metro simply with Alipay in the near future.
By April, about 400,000 shared bikes — from Mobike, Ofo, Bluegogo to U-bicycle — were scattered across Guangzhou, according to the traffic authorities. The Guangzhou government has issued regulations and rules about the management of these bikes, and Haizhu district, especially, has worked with the bike sharing companies to line out over 1,000 bike parking areas. The last kilometer home for commuters is no longer a problem.
AliResearch reports that five of China’s top 10 Taobao Villages, where dozens of people run online stores on taobao.com, one of Alibaba’s largeste-commerce platforms, are located in Guangzhou. During last year’s “double eleven (November 11)” online shopping spree, Guangdong province recorded the largest number of delivered packages, with Guangzhou leading other cities in China, said He Qingyi, deputy director of Guangdong Provincial PostalAdministration.
Customs statistics also show that Guangzhou had an import and export value of 14.68 billion yuan in cross-border e-commerce last year, 1.2 times more than the previous year, accounting for 29.4 percent of the country’s total. The largest group of shoppers for imported goods is also in Guangzhou, said a logistics specialist.