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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : May 30, 2013

QR Code scanning takes off in China

China may have been slow to embrace QR Codes but, as recent statistics revealed at the AllthingsD D11 conference this week show, use is on the rise, quadrupling in just one year.

by Helen Leggatt

QR Codes in China aren't new, they've been in use for almost a decade, although their use has been somewhat limited. It wasn't until several large Internet firms in China started to base new services on the code that their use by ordinary consumers took off. Tencent Holdings, a leading Internet and mobile phone service provider, launched its QR Code scanning services in 2012.

Today, in China, QR Codes are being used for a multitude of things - to pay for products, redeem coupons, check transport times, social networking and information discovery. The British Embassy in Beijing has a large QR Code on the front gate, grocery shoppers at Carrefour can scan produce, and a Shenyang cemetery has proposed using QR Codes on headstones to allow visitors to view the deceased's details. Even watermelons have QR Codes.

According to Mary Meeker in her latest report on the state of the Internet, China now scans 9 million QR Codes every month, up from 2 million last year.

As well as being a new way for people to get access to goods and services, scanning QR Codes is becoming fashionable among mobile users.

"QR Codes make it more convenient for users to operate their smartphones, and will be an important tool for mobile Internet use in the future," Li Zhi, a senior analyst at Beijing-based Internet services firm Analysys International, told the Global Times earlier this year.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: Asia, China, mobile trends, QR Code, scanning, smartphone

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