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TV shopping channels eye cross-strait mobile payments

2013/01/17 23:34

Taipei, Jan. 17 (CNA) The operator of two local TV shopping channels, Eastern Multimedia Group, said Thursday the company is in talks with mobile carriers on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to build partnerships that would allow viewers in China and Taiwan who watch TV over their mobile phones to pay for products via their phones.

The group's chairman Gary Wang said the group, which operates TV shopping channels U-mall and ETmall, is in talks with Chunghwa Telecom, the largest telecommunication service provider in Taiwan, and China Unicom Ltd., China's second-largest mobile carrier, to jointly tap the lucrative mobile payment market.

Wang made the remarks at a deal signing ceremony with the state-funded Commerce Development Research Institute on the research of cross-strait e-commerce.

Taiwan's Financial Supervisory Commission announced Tuesday that it is opening applications for banks to apply for mobile credit card services, marking a step forward for Taiwan's mobile payment services.

Wang said there are about 8 million smartphone users in Taiwan, who can watch TV via their phones.

Marketing research data shows that people usually use smartphones to look up places to shop from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 pm, the time when they are about to get off work, he said.

Wang believes there's great potential to develop this market in China.

In terms of the Chinese market, there are about 250 million smartphone users in China who can watch TV via their phones, and it is growing by 5 million users per month, he said.

Wang also said at the sideline of the deal signing ceremony that Taiwanese retailers should seize the mobile payment opportunity to sell Taiwanese-branded products to China.

Taking China's biggest e-commerce platform Taobao as an example, Wang said China sold about 600,000 products via the platform to Taiwan last year, compared with about 100,000 products sold from Taiwan to China.

(By Chao Hsiao-hui and Ann Chen) ENDITEM/cs