There are a number of hideous, needless errors and usability mistakes on the Alipay site in particular:
- You can't enter a phone number with more than 11 digits, it can't have a '+' symbol at the start, and it's validated as a Chinese mobile phone number (must have 13 or 18 at the start). The hell?
- The actual payment forms assume that the customer is using Internet Explorer and they're completely broken in Firefox. I'm using a Mac and even on my Vista box at work I use Firefox and Opera.
What's most annoying are the problems that are so easy to fix: allow any phone number to be entered. Don't ask your users to type things in all caps. Don't assume your users are using Internet Explorer (or Windows) - that kind of nonsense should have been left in the 1990s!
Chinese websites and software often suffer from these problems. Everything appears to be written for Windows, even the web sites. Software doesn't declare what language it's written in and assumes the user has a Chinese version of Windows, forcing them to call the program through AppLocale (if they know how). If there's version of the software built for OS X or Linux, it will be binary only and either doesn't work at all or crashes constantly (QQ for Linux). Of course, you can't use an open-source program that tries to use that protocol because the servers detect and ban unofficial clients. Weak!
Another thing: about 99% of Chinese websites appear to be spammy search portals with hundreds of links and no useful content. Is there a way to search for useful content on Chinese sites and filter out all the useless portals?