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My life in China: Technology advances

By Frederic Byumvuhore (People's Daily Online)    17:48, August 01, 2019

(Photo/Xinhua)

The most impressive thing in Beijing, in my opinion, is the level of technology. Everything has gone digital. When I first arrived in Beijing, it seemed challenging, but over time you become familiar with this type of progress.

Seeing has become believing in China, contrary to what I knew before I visited the country.

Many people around the world, including on the African continent, have got distinctive perceptions about the People’s Republic of China. News about the country comes from Western media, which sometimes misleads its audience.

During my six months in Beijing, I have toured various provinces, cities, cultural sites and attended cultural events. All have sharpened my understanding and perception of the real China.

I’m from Rwanda, a land of a thousand hills with a population of 12 million people. This is my first time in China, a country with a population of about 1.4 billion people. Beijing alone, with over 20 million people, is almost twice as populated as my entire country. I was curious to personally experience life in the most populous nation and the second-largest economy in the world.

My love for the country and its people was awakened on the day I was warmly welcomed by Chinese friends who came to receive us at the airport on the evening of February 21st, shortly after I landed at Beijing International Airport.

My first three weeks in Beijing were somewhat puzzling. At the time, I could not say anything in Chinese except “Ni hao.” It was the first time I ever used a subway, and if not for the guidance of my friends, I would have got lost.

Now, here in Beijing, I have begun to understand what the word technology means, after experiencing how services in the city have been digitalized.

Within a matter of days, my Rwandan friend came to help me explore some parts of Beijing. He accompanied me to the market to show me where to buy food. As we arrived in winter, he also took me to the market to buy more suitable clothing.

Moreover, he took me to the subway, where I found everything is digitalized. I was excited when I bought a subway ticket by myself without any support.

As time went on, I was also advised to buy things online. My colleagues helped me to open a Wechat Pay account that linked to my Chinese bank account. They kept telling me that Wechat can be used everywhere in China.

It was a good experience when I first ordered goods on Taobao. No matter how puzzling the language, my order was successful. Now, there is no need for me to walk to the market to buy things. This is just one app, and China uses thousands of apps to make life more convenient. Take Didi, for example, a taxi app which can call you a cab within minutes.

In China, life is exciting and convenient. I like the way Chinese people preserve their culture. Learning the Chinese language has accelerated my love for China. China is no longer only home to Chinese people, but to people from all over the world. 

Frederic Byumvuhore, the author is a reporter with The New Times Rwanda, and is currently participating in China Africa Press Center 2019 program in Beijing.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Xian Jiangnan, Bianji)

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