Xiaomi China rolling out mobile payments

In collaboration with China UnionPay, smartphone giant Xiaomi China is rolling out its own mobile payment service on the mainland.

China UnionPay earlier partnered with Apple and Samsung Electronics on the launch of their payment platforms in China.

Xiaomi’s new service is expected to be more of an internet services company with a smartphone customer base, according to the South China Morning Post.

“We will ensure Xiaomi payment has a smooth user experience, and we are working closely with UnionPay and several major banks,” says founder/CEO Lei Jun. The mobile payment product will be co-designed by UnionPay and Xiaomi based on the company’s smartphones owned by UnionPay bank-card holders.

In January, Xiaomi acquired 65 per cent of Chinese internet payment company Jiefu Ruitong, which has an online payment business licence. Lei Jun became the sole legal representative of the company the same month.

The new service will work only on Xiaomi’s flagship Mi 5, which is equipped with Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology that enables users to pay by placing the phone near the sensor of a point-of-sale machine.

Chinese online payments are dominated by Alipay from the Alibaba group, which last year controlled more than 47 per cent of online transactions, according to Chinese consulting company iResearch. Tenpay, from internet conglomerate Tencent, has 20 per cent share.

Apple Pay entered China in February with Samsung following a month later. Communication equipment supplier Huawei also formed a partnership with UnionPay in online payments last month.

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