…The Chinese are believed to have issued the world’s first paper currency around 600 A.D., and fourteen centuries later, cash remains king. Cars and houses are bought, and even salaries are often paid, with thick envelopes of bills. To date, banks have issued only slightly more than 50 million credit cards to a population of 1.3 billion, according to a recent study done by the payment processing company First Data International. Credit card debt remains minimal ” 85% of cardholders pay the full balance off each month. By comparison, Americans possess 640 million cards ” more than double the population ” with the average card-holding household owing an estimated $9,500….[Full Text]
– Photo from Time Magazine: A Chinese chicken farmer examines a 100 yuan note.
– Read also earlier post In China, Cash Carries the Weight via CDT