All of us already know that quick response codes are popular and widely used in Japan, where the codes originated, as well as in the very technologically advanced South Korea. But do you know that these two-dimensional matrix barcodes are also gaining ground in China?
In a country where strict and stringent rules are imposed pertaining to the use of Internet, and where even Facebook is banned, the statistics related to QR codes are rather surprising. And surprising in a good way.
According to a TechCrunch article by technology journalist Kim-Mai Cutler, the number of QR codes that are scanned every month in China has increased four times in the last year. More and more people are using the codes to pay for goods, to share and exchange information, to redeem coupons, and to take advantage of promotions.
Citing a local QR code study, Cutler wrote that specifically 9 million QR codes are being scanned every month, which figure is up from the two million scans per month a year before.
The biggest bulk of these QR code scans were for purposes of passcode or of redeeming rewards, coupons, and tickets. This actually comprises 42% of the 9 million QR code scans a month. As for the remaining scans, 3% of these are for mobile payments, 22% are for purposes of sharing and accessing online information and business card exchange, and 33% are for promotions, mainly from codes found on billboards and other advertising campaigns.
QR codes are indeed taking off in China that even the UK embassy in Beijing uses it. The UK government in Beijing has an account on Sina Weibo that people can follow by simply scanning a QR code. Sina Weibo is a microblogging platform that boasts of 46 million daily active users in the country.
Aside from Sina Weibo, another social media site where a lot of people use QR codes to connect with is Tencent’s WeChat messaging app.
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