AliPay LogoTaobao Logo

After fiddling around with banking and wondering if I had to forever rely on someone else to buy things for me online in Mainland China, I hunkered down for a few hours and found a way to create an AliPay and TaoBao account for foreigners that doesn’t require a 15 digit Chinese ID.

Now why is this important? Firstly it’s about autonomy, much like what Hong Kong is protesting for right now. Secondly it’s about ease of access to services in China. Finally it’s about cost savings because everyone in China knows they get better products online.

In store shopping is easy but when you live in a small village it can be difficult to find what you’re looking for. I’ve been looking for a stapleless stapler for about 2 weeks and it can only be found online. I bought my chair online. I bought a yoga mat online. I will buy boots online. It’s cheaper (usually by about 20RMB per item) and it’s usually faster as deliveries are within a few days on Mainland China.

So why not right? I embrace my ability to beat the system and use translation services to be able to figure out what the heck is on the page. Maybe with this newfound freedom my Chinese skills will improve. Here’s to being 10% more Chinese and having a TaoBao and AliPay account!

Hip Hop Hurra!