Chinese Woman Returns $310,000 Mistakenly Transferred Through Alipay

By Thea Felicity

Jul 09, 2024 12:07 PM EDT

Chinese Woman Returns $310,000 Mistakenly Transferred Through Alipay
A woman walks past an Alipay advertising billboard in a subway in Beijing on October 27, 2020.
(Photo : GREG BAKER/AFP via Getty Images)

In China, a woman named Wang from Xuchang, Henan province, returned a staggering 2.26 million yuan ($310,000) mistakenly transferred to her by a stranger via the Alipay mobile payment app. 

According to the South China Morning Post, Wang, who had never used Alipay before, received persistent calls from a distraught woman named Tian at the end of June. Tian admitted the costly error. However, Wang was not convinced.

After assuring Tian she suspected a scam but would verify the claim, Wang, accompanied by her daughter, promptly reported the incident to the police. 

Authorities confirmed the transfers, logging into Wang's Alipay account and verifying the legitimacy of Tian's claims from Hebei province.

Moved by Wang's honesty, netizens in China rallied behind her, and the incident quickly went viral on social media, amassing 140 million views on Weibo alone. 

READ MORE: First Chinese Female Arctic Fisher Rakes in $18k Monthly-Here's How She Handled Race Bias

Cases of Money Transferred to Wrong Accounts

Mistakingly sending large sums through bank accounts is not uncommon and is rare in China alone. This is often due to errors in inputting account numbers or misunderstandings of financial processes. 

In countries where digital payment platforms like Alipay and WeChat Pay are widely used, transferring money electronically has become routine but also prone to human error. 

Prior to digitizing money transfers, digital banks faced issues with money being sent to the wrong accounts. 

In the specific case mentioned in a 2019 report by The Guardian, a UK resident lost her inheritance of £193 thousand ($246 thousand) because of a single incorrect digit in the recipient's account number. Unlike China's Auntie Wang, the recipient of the mistaken transfer did not return the money,

READ NEXT: Singapore Court Delays Sentencing for Money Launderer Su Jianfeng, Seized Assets Valued at $138 Million

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