A blessing in disguise—The effect of China's Covid-19 health code system on older people's mobile payment usage

Jialiang Zhu, Yun Liu*, Ying Fang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In early 2020, China launched a health code system to combat the spread of Covid-19. The required health code led to a drastic uptake of smartphone usage among older residents. This paper uses rich commercial data from the Zhejiang Province of China to track the change in consumption among the older population. The paper finds that older people significantly increased spending after switching to mobile payment. The paper contributes to the literature by identifying the unexpected windfall from the effect of the health code mandate on the older population and demonstrating that digital payment works well in the older population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103671
Number of pages8
JournalFinance Research Letters
Early online date14 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author acknowledges financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, Grant No. 72133004, and the Natural Science Foundation of Fujian Province, China, Grant No. 2021J01036.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Inc.


  • Digital finance
  • Health code
  • Older people's consumption behavior

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