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Alibaba, China Telecom Unveils Mobile Phones For Rural Users

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Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE: BABA) and China Telecom Corporation Limted (NYSE: CHA) jointly announced on Friday they will begin selling inexpensive mobile phones with software developed for online shopping to spread e-commerce access to China's less affluent and rural population, according to Alizaza, an Alibaba-funded news website focusing on the e-commerce industry.

The phone, named "Tianyi Taobao Shopping Handsets," will be offered with either the Mobile Taobao shopping app or the YunOS mobile operating system developed by Alibaba as a default feature.

Mobile Taobao is the most popular mobile shopping app in China with more than 200 million monthly active users. China Telecom is one of the country's three major mobile carriers with 186 million users as of the end of 2014.

The phone is targeted at China's third-and fourth-tier cities and rural areas where underdeveloped broadband and telecommunications infrastructure, along with the relatively high cost of computers have made shopping through smartphones a cheap and convenient option.

The new phone will begin selling on Saturday and will be available through China Telecom's Tmall store as well as physical stores across the country. Fourteen models of Tianyi Taobao phones will be available for sale. Six models will be more expensive smartphones from Coolpad, Hisense and TCL with the Mobile Taobao app installed.

In addition, another eight models, made by lesser-known brands including Uniscope, Ctyon and Kingsun will be sold and will run Alibaba's homegrown YunOS.

Shares of Alibaba were trading higher by more than 2 percent Friday morning, while shares of China Telecom were trading higher by more than 4 percent.

Posted-In: Alibaba Alizaza China Smartphones China Telecom Mobile TaobaoNews Global Tech


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