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As the 2008 Olympics draw closer, the number of shops in Beijing that accept internationally branded payment cards stood at about 110,000 at the end of June, nearly double the number from last year, according to state-owned news media. Games attendees will be able to make card payments at some 90% of Olympic venues, the government media says. An analyst generally agreed with the overview offered by state media, telling CardLine Global the Chinese government has made a "strong push" to ready Beijing for foreign visitors. "One key area has been to increase the number of ATMs and number of restaurants and stores and other outlets for consumers to use their cards," says Shaun Rein, founder and managing director of Shanghai-based research firm China Market Research Group.

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