China Mobile plans to recruit trial users for its "mobile payment service" in Shanghai in late April or early May and begin large-scale promotions for the service this year, reports on April 22. The company hopes to enter 1,000 Shanghai stores including those operated by McDonald's, Starbucks and Shanghai Shentong Metro in 2009.
China Mobile intends to install card readers, at a cost of RMB 3,000 each, in stores to allow users to pay for goods and services by swiping their SIM cards. Mobile payment-enabled SIM cards will cost RMB 50-100, and China Mobile has partnered with telecom manufacturers including East compeace Smart Card (002017.SZ) and Huahong Group to mass produce the cards within two or three months.
China Mobile's Beijing subsidiary is trialing a new monthly package for TD-SCDMA Internet access. The package is RMB 80 per month for unlimited time and traffic including 350MB of free roaming traffic. The new fee compares to previous Beijing monthly packages of RMB 50 for 500MB, RMB 100 for 2GB and RMB 300 for 10GB. China Unicom charges a minimum monthly fee of RMB 150 for WCDMA Internet access, while China Telecom charges RMB 160-300 for 3G Internet.