China's Third-Largest Mobile Network Now Accepts Bitcoin

Published on by Coindesk | Published on

Nov 29, 2013 at 13:10 UTCUpdated Dec 3, 2013 at 15:39 UTC. Consumers in China can now purchase smartphones with bitcoin from a major carrier, after a local division of China Telecom announced a promotional offer for new Samsung phones this week.

China Telecom's subsidiary Jiangsu Telecom, in Jiangsu province on the east coast of the country, posted the offer on its website.

Bitcoin's popularity has soared higher in China than anywhere else in the world recently, with world-record prices appearing on BTC China, the country's main exchange and now the world's busiest.

BTC China was leading the world in bitcoin value even in April, when prices passed $300. [post-quote].

So on the surface, many recent stories of bitcoin acceptance from China seem more promotional than revolutionary.

It's also a sign large state owned enterprises in China, or at least certain divisions of them, are more open to experimentation with bitcoin than their overseas counterparts.

Jiangsu Telecom's offer also strikes a more positive note than previous reports from China earlier in 2013, which suggested China Telecom was trying to block bitcoin-related traffic from its services.

China Telecom is China's largest fixed-line provider and its third-largest mobile carrier.

If bitcoin can be used as a promotional tool to attract younger and more technology-aware consumers, it also indicates the Chinese market itself is more ready for alternate forms of payment.

Television network CCTV has run more stories on bitcoin in the wake of its recent price surge, and the more centralized digital Q coin currency proved extremely popular for online transaction in the mid 2000s.