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Android / iOS / Windows for travelling

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    66

    Android / iOS / Windows for travelling

    I will be travelling and would wish to take a tablet (i - pad or i-pad mini) with me to do stuff like assessing bank accounts, making transfers, doing online trading in equities, booking airline tickets and accommodation, hire car etc.

    I have been told by someone using Android that when he was in Shanghai he tried to book and pay for a flight to Inner Mongolia. He got as far as the "choose your flight" part on the airline website, but when it came to payment for the air ticket online, he could not access his bank payment system to do online payment. (I probably did not fully grasp what he said was the problem, but it was something like the bank required some security checks and he could not download these to complete the checks on his Android tablet). He said he had to eventually go find an internet cafe which used Windows system to complete his mission. He said his experience was many Mainland sites require Windows to "work".


    I have 2 questions:

    (1) Does this sort of problem occur outside of Mainland China? (i.e. for Android tablets)

    (2) Will I run into similar problems if I take my ipad with me (rather than a notebook operating on Windows 8) when travelling in Mainland China or other countries e.g. Australia, Europe and SE Asian countries?

    Thank you for your time and help.

    Last edited by nopain; 06-02-2013 at 12:14 PM.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    For the payment he probably needed a plugin - something you won't be able to install on any tablet.
    But there are mobile apps available, but it really depends on the store which payment system they use.

    nopain likes this.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Mui Wo, Hong Kong
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    Might be due to some security certificate issues?

    As for websites needing windows to work, this is rarely the case but I haven't done any computing in China. If it's a browser issue then your friend could have used another browser to try his transaction (such as Chrome, or Firefox, or Opera) then use the browser's "get desktop site" feature.

    I was traveling with my Android tablet through Europe and was able to access my bank account information, but my bank acct at the time was with ScotiaBank Canada.

    nopain likes this.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Los Angeles
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    941

    On my trip through Asia, I had a laptop running Windows XP and an iPhone 4; We went to seven countries (japan, korea, china, taiwan, thailand, cambodia, and vietnam) before finally coming to HK; we traveled mostly by land but did book a couple of flights (seoul to shanghai, Fuzhou to Guangzhou, HK to taipei, and HK to phuket);

    With respect to China, we used Ctrip.com to book our flight from Fuzhou to Guangzhou; the issue there was the website asked for a local Chinese number, so to get around that we just used a fake one from a magazine; the initial attempt at purchasing a ticket didn't go through because it was sold out so we had to contact Ctrip by phone. after that, we told them which flight we wanted and voila! we used my laptop for Ctrip, but it shouldn't be too much of a problem with your iPad; if not, many, many hostels/hotels have terminals for travelers. As far as I know, AirAsia should work with Android or iOS; not sure about Ctrip, though;

    To be honest, i wouldn't be worried about compatibility. the thing you got to look out for is THEFT; i would think twice before bringing any sort of tablet or laptop to SE Asia; my iPhone was stolen in Saigon; i had insurance but it only covered half; That's your primary concern; if you do take your iPad, make sure you have the Find my iPhone/iPad app up and running (i didn't).

    nopain likes this.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2009
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    6,082
    Quote Originally Posted by pkboy:
    As for websites needing windows to work, this is rarely the case but I haven't done any computing in China.
    With ICBC in China you MUST use IE on Windows. No Firefox or Chrome will work. The Turkish Air website doesn't work on Chrome on the iPad. You will find compatibility problems from time to time.

    If you need you local bank in HK, then at least try it once on your iPad before you leave to make sure it works. If you use iPad, install a few more browser, Chrome is really good (bookmark sharing with my desktop).

    China is (pirated) Windows land. Most never heard about Linux, and MacBooks are often running Windows.
    nopain likes this.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    44

    In mainland China most of the websites which require you to pay online (some sites do allow you to pay cash on delivery, but mostly goods not services like air tickets etc.) will only work properly in Internet Explorer. With regards to paying for something using your bank card, it also depends on what type of payment system the website uses. I don't recall Chinese websites being overly friendly to overseas bank accounts, but some of the more popular sites like ctrip or elong should support them. Towards the end of last year I purchased a ticket from ctrip from HK to the mainland and was able to pay with my HK credit card, but had to e-mail scans of the card and my ID.

    When I was in Australia and New Zealand 5 years ago it was no problem to purchase things (I bought plane tickets and an MP3 player) using my UK visa debit card which would have worked on a tablet since it didn't require any special plug-ins or anything, so your biggest problem would probably just be mainland China or anywhere else where their web site security involves installing plugins to work.

    nopain likes this.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    66

    Thanks so much for all your helpful replies and suggestions!


    With ICBC in China you MUST use IE on Windows. No Firefox or Chrome will work.
    My friend was using ICBC, and was using the keyboard on his ASUS Transformer. He told me after failing to do what he wanted to do on his ASUS, he went down to the hotel's business centre. Their computers operated with IE, BUT the hotel had set their computers up so that guest users could not download plug - ins (I think plug-ins are what they were that he required). That's why he went to an internet cafe to complete his purchase!!

    I bank with HSBC HK. I do transactions/trading etc on my Air Mac when in HK, and (apart from the recent problem with Java a couple of weeks ago) all is fine.

    Except for buying stuff or paying for services (flights, hotels etc) on the Mainland, am I right in understanding I will continue to be able to do trading and pay HK bills on the HSBC site when I am in the Mainland, using my ipad/ipad mini?

    Thanks for your help!
    Last edited by nopain; 06-02-2013 at 05:34 PM.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    6,082

    ICBC China requires a USB stick if you want to do payments. No stick, no payments. You can still check your account though. ICBC has also some terminals in their banks for customers use.

    Alipay 'may' has a iOS app. Maybe others too. My advise is to REALLY check them on your devise before you leave. Since Chinese websites are usually 100% in Chinese (ICBC has English, that's why I chose them) it can be quite difficult.


  9. #9

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Hong Kong, from UK
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    3,838

    Incidentally, doing online payments - or any banking - at an Internet cafe, particularly in China, is about as secure as walking around handing out slips of paper with your credit card and other banking information.

    In other words - DON'T DO THAT.

    chris_yang22 likes this.