The subject of digraphia in China often comes up in our discussions about the Chinese writing system on Language Log (always be sure to check the comments on the posts, because much good material is often added in them), e.g.:
"Digraphia and intentional miswriting " (3/12/15)
"Substituting Pinyin for unknown Chinese characters " (12/3/13)
"Creeping Romanization in Chinese " (8/30/12)
"Character amnesia and the emergence of digraphia " (9/25/13)
"Dumpling ingredients and character amnesia " (10/18/14)
"Which is worse? " (1/21/16)
The existence of digraphia in China means that a choice does not have to be made between characters and Romanization, but that both can co-exist and simultaneously function in the spheres and roles that are best suited to them.
In my estimation, alphabetical writing could never be promulgated by fiat in China the way it was in Turkey, Vietnam, and elsewhere. Already in 1951, Mao Zedong had issued the following directive with regard to script reform:
Wénzì bìxū gǎigé, yào zǒu shìjiè wénzì gòngtóng de pīnyīn fāngxiàng 文字必须改革，要走世界文字共同的拼音方向 ("[Our] writing [system] must be reformed; [we] should take the direction of phoneticization in common with the scripts of the world".
Later on, Mao watered down his demands for script reform to half-baked character simplification, which, far from solving the manifold problems of China's antiquated, cumbersome writing system, only exacerbated them.
If mighty Mao could not achieve the phoneticization of the Chinese script, no leader since him, including Xi Jinping today, would be able to bring it about.
Incidentally, pīnyīn 拼音, aside from meaning "spelling", which is how it is normally understood in the expression Hànyǔ pīnyīn 汉语拼音 ("Sinitic spelling"), may also be translated as "phonetic(ization)".
In practice, digraphia (characters + pinyin) is gradually becoming a reality. Characters, of course, are already here, but in what ways is the Latin alphabet increasingly making its presence felt in China?
1. In advertisements
"Duang " (3/1/15)
"Digraphia and bilingualism in a Nissan ad " (6/3/15)
"A trilingual, triscriptal ad in the Taipei subway " (1/20/140
2. In education, for the phonetic annotation of characters and for other purposes
3. For computer inputting
"Chinese character inputting " (10/17/15)
4. For movie, TV, and video subtitles
5. In restaurant menus
6. For braille and semaphore
7. For signage
8. For writing various foreign languages
9. For writing Sinitic languages other than Mandarin and a host of non-Sinitic tongue
This particular category puts the lie to the "universality" myth — the idea that the character system magically unifies Mandarin, Cantonese, Hakka, Shanghainese, and a dozen other languages, and allows them all to be written identically. Nothing could be further from the truth. We have demonstrated again and again that many of the most common morphemes in Cantonese, Taiwanese, etc. (even some of the most favored Pekingese expressions) cannot be written with characters, their grammar and phonology are different, and so on. Since there are no characters for essential morphemes, those who wish to write full-blown Cantonese, Taiwanese, etc. have to do one of three things:
a. Borrow another character purely for its sound and without regard to its meaning, thus setting the stage for semantic interference. For example, máidān 埋单 (lit., "bury the bill"), a Cantonese expression which actually means "bring the bill", the mái 埋 (lit., "bury") being used to represent a Cantonese morpheme for which there is no known, widely accepted Chinese character. Like many other Cantonese terms, máidān 埋单 (lit., "bury [–> bring] the bill") has become a part of Mandarin vocabulary. However, since máidān 埋单 ("bury the bill") doesn't make sense to Mandarin speakers, either they will engage in arcane explanations (e.g., when the waiter brings the bill, they will "bury" it under a plate or in a folder) or they will change the character in a vain, desperate attempt to make it mean something logical in Mandarin, thus máidān 埋单 ("bury the bill") –> mǎidān 买单 (lit., "buy the bill"), which doesn't really make sense either, does it?
The Cantonese pronunciation of máidān 埋单 ("bury [–> bring] the bill") is maai4daan1.
From the online CantoDict at the sheik website, we can see why maai4daan1 means what it does in Cantonese and why — even though it has become a very common expression in Mandarin as máidān 埋单 ("bury [–> bring] the bill") — it causes problems (semantic interference) for Mandarin speakers:
MSM mai2 man2
 [v] bury; cover up; lay sth underground
 [v] conceal; hide; lie low
b. Create a new character just for that morpheme
je5 嘢 (n. "thing; things; article; articles; goods; matter; stuff")
mak1 maak1 嘜 (n. 1. "mark; trademark; brand [name]"; transcription of English "mark", 2. n. "mug; metallic container")
di1 dit1 啲 (Wikipedia says "genitive, similar to 's but pluralizing"; CantoDict has di1  [pron] "some; those"  [adv] "a few; a little bit" dit1 [adv] "only a little bit; every little bit"); note variants 尐, D
c. Write the morpheme in Roman letters — that's so simple that I don't even have to provide an illustration, but see "D" just above and this post:
"The Roman Alphabet in Cantonese " (3/23/11)
10. On the internet, especially by young people for creative fun, and often to avoid the censors
11. For writing so-called zìmǔ cí 字母词 ("letter words", i.e., words that consist partially or wholly of Roman letters) in Chinese:
"Creeping Romanization in Chinese " (8/30/12)
"A New Morpheme in Mandarin " (4/26/11)
And so on and so forth. I could list many more categories of how the alphabet is used in China and could provide additional Language Log posts that provide evidence for each category, but that would be both tiresome and unnecessary. The point has been adequately made: the alphabet is here to stay in China. It is solidly entrenched, and the purposes to which it is applied continue to expand with each passing day. This is happening despite what anyone may feel in favor of or against it.