China Unicom, the second largest mobile operator in China, will officially launch mobile payment by the end of this year.

It has tested its mobile payment solution in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing.  Now, it is ready to commercially launch the services.  The first city to be offered the service will be Beijing.   China Unicom has order 2900 payment enabled sim card, as the first batch of the commercial launch. (Here is an article about this in Chinese:  http://tech.sina.com.cn/t/3g/2010-12-30/02215043537.shtml)

China Unicom’s solution is based on a 13.56MHz technology.  13.56MHz is also the world wide standard for mobile payment.  China Mobile, which has launched mobile payment solution earlier in Shanghai, uses a 2.4G technology. This is a proprietary standard, developed locally in China.  And China Mobile has ordered more than 1 million 2.4G payment enabled sim card.

The two camps are still arguing which technologies will be better for China.  Observers expected, in the end, may be China will have both 13.56MHz and 2.4G technology running together.  Each for different operators or different regions.

Sherman So

Author of Red Wired: China's Internet Revolution, the first book to completely survey the nature of China's internet. (http://redwiredrevolution.com/) She previously was the lead China technology reporter...

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