From now on, all Beijing subway lines will support NFC-enabled mobile phone entrance. The passengers no longer need to use public transport cards or tickets, and can just swipe their phone to enter the subway, Chinese media Beijing Youth Daily is reporting.

Smartphones installed with NFC (near-field wireless communication) module can support the public transport smart card function. When you use it, it’s just like how you swipe your transport card to the reader. In addition, users don’t have to pay a deposit to use this service.

Since Fangshan line of Beijing subway promoted the use of mobile payments phone ride in June, they reportedly added new 200,000 mobile cards in a month. This feature got very popular from the trial period, and from today all the Beijing subway lines will provide this service.

Although theoretically all NFC-enabled mobile phones can be used, at present Apple has not released public transport card function in China. The latest news says that Apple may support the public transport card function for iOS 11, which is said to be launched in October.

This feature can be used by all NFC-enabled Android mobile phones. Beijing subway supports Xiaomi, Huawei, Samsung, Meizu and other 160 brands of mobile phones. Different mobile phones have different ways of activating this service. Xiaomi 5 users need to open the Xiaomi wallet while Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus users need to download the Yikatong (一卡通) app or use Samsung’s own designated application that supports the same function. If an Android phone doesn’t support NFC, then users can go to the telecom company reception desk, replace the original mobile phone SIM card with an NFC-SIM card.

Eva Yoo is Shanghai-based tech writer. Reach her at

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