China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China, retraced its steps on a plan to prohibit vendors from using personal QR codes to accept business payments, meaning that the status quo will be maintained, reports the South China Morning Post. Currently, millions of small business, street vendors and beggars utilize the personal codes for collecting money.
The move is a rare retreat by the People’s Bank of China over its control of Alipay and WeChat Pay, which jointly control over 90% of the country’s mobile payments market, after the proposed ban on using personal QR codes to receive money sparked controversy.
The widespread adoption of QR codes for quick and convenient payments was once held up as a sign of China’s progress over the West in developing a cashless society. QR codes accounted for over 90% of China’s mobile payments in 2021, according to a January survey by state-owned UnionPay.