The orange seller clearly had a sheet tagged to his cart, which reads ‘POS is available’.
One of the beggars who caught the media’s attention was reportedly a man with mental problems and the QR code he had was made by his family to help him. However, it also appeared that QR code begging serves other purposes besides generating income for people down on their luck. According to digital marketing company China Channel, many beggars in Beijing receive payment from local businesses for every QR code scanned by passers-by. The enterprises use these scans to collect people’s data from WeChat profiles, then sell the IDs for quite a pretty penny to small businesses. The latter use the information to bombard the users with unsolicited in-app advertisements.
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