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Chinese prison allows inmates to shop online, keep ‘digital wallets’

/ 01:11 PM January 21, 2019
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Beijing Prison in China has set up a cashless payment system as well as interactive devices which allow inmates to experience online shopping.

Families of prisoners can now send money to inmates through online payment platform Alipay, as reported by Legal Evening News via South China Morning Post on Saturday, Jan. 19.

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Prisoners can receive a maximum of 1,000 yuan ($147 or about P7,700) per month. Their digital wallet will also have a 5,000 yuan ($736 or around P38,800) maximum balance limit.

The money can be used to shop through the interactive devices set up by the authorities, the report stated. Similar to how online shopping is conducted, inmates browse through an intranet platform for the items they wish to buy. To make the purchase, they have to scan their prisoner code and use the money in their Alipay accounts.

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Beijing Prison assured Chinese citizens they are keeping track of the orders made by the inmates.

“Not only the inmates can shop ‘online,’ we are also able to carry out complete and thorough checking and implement section-to-section approval monitoring to ensure transparency and that can help prevent corruption,” an unnamed Beijing Prison Management Administration official said in the report.

In September last year, Beijing Prison allowed families to send money to inmates using social media and mobile payment app WeChat, as per the report. Both schemes were part of China’s plans for the local penal facilities to go digital. Kate Matriano/JB

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TAGS: Beijing, China, digital wallets, inmates, online shopping, Prison
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