Chinese Alibaba to launch phone plans in June
The offers will be marketed through Tmall and Taobao, Alibaba’s two marketplaces, and invoices paid through Alipay, its payment system.
While Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is due to go public on Wall Street soon to raise up to $ 15 billion – a deal that could be one of the biggest since Facebook was introduced in 2012 -, the firm created Ali Communications, a structure dedicated to the marketing of future mobile telephony offers according to Technode.
The Chinese Web juggernaut would thus like to take advantage of an easing of Chinese regulations on virtual telephone operators, better known as MVNO (mobile virtual network operators, virtual mobile network operator, editor’s note), which occurred at the end of last year. At the time, among the files retained by the ministry appears that of Net.cn, since become Aliyun, one of its subsidiaries.
According to Technode, Alibaba has already signed with three telecom operators – China Telecom, China Unicom, and China Mobile – to start marketing the offers in May, the date on which pre-registrations will be open for an operational service in June. Customers will be able to carry out all their transactions at once – subscription to a mobile number, choice of plan and payment of bills with Alipay, its payment system – directly from Taobao and Tmall, two of the group’s marketplaces.
The firm founded by Jack Ma will however have to reckon with another heavyweight in e-commerce, JD.com, who, like her, has received a virtual operator license … and has filed an IPO application at New York.
[Pour en savoir plus : notre étude sur Alibaba, le géant de l’e-commerce]