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Mobilize Your Business

China's Ministry of Commerce has begun a research of how to boost mobile commerce in China. On Dec. 3rd, China's first M-Commerce Laboratory was launched by handsets maker Motorola, Inc. and China International Electronic Commerce Center (CIECC), which is an agency operating under China's Ministry of Commerce and is responsible for the development of electronic information projects.

12 enterprises including Motorola, Inc. and Beijing University of Post and Telecommunication are the first members working cooperatively for this lab where researches and innovations on commercialization of mobile applications, mobile payment and security, and enterprise mobile commerce application are expected.

According to IDC, a research center, by the year 2011, mobile internet users will have outstripped computer internet surfers. Unlike the traditional e-commerce in China, m-commerce application is almost a virgin land. At present, WAP web surfing, ringtone/image downloading, instant messaging and mobile games are the commonest applications of mobile internet. Mobile internet service appliers can cooperate collaborate with phone makers to make their products known by mobile phone users. Amazon mp3, Amazon's online music downloading store, was chosen to be his partner when Google launched his first G1 phone.

Compared to traditional e-commerce, m-commerce has the following advantages:

1. It's pervasive. M-commerce is based on wireless internet. Service is available for almost anyone at any time anywhere. The instance and convenience are what traditional e-commerce can not offer to consumers.

2. M-commerce enjoys a large scale of potential clients. The number of mobile phone users is larger than that of PC users. And more consumers with higher consuming power are to be found among mobile phone users.

3. M-commerce can provide customers really personalized services. As mobile phone itself is a personal stuff, there is a unique individual behind every single cell phone. M-commerce providers can study users' interests and personalize services for these users.

The establishment of the lab is just the first step. The maturity of m-commerce in China will need lots of technical backups. Innovation of mobile payments is expected. Technical breakthroughs in mobile internet and mobile phone applications are also in need. Limited input methods, small screens, short duration of phone batteries, unsatisfactory operating system are the main reasons why still not many people are used to online surfing with their portable phones.