Wed, May 29, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Taiwan Mobile launches mobile shopping service

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大), the nation’s No. 2 telecom operator, yesterday launched a new mobile shopping service amid fast-growing online shopping on mobile devices.

Consumers will be able to make transactions on their phones and can pick up their goods at more than 300 outlets operated by the phone company throughout the nation in as little as 12 hours, as well as at 7-Eleven convenience stores, the company said.

The launch comes after the Financial Supervisory Commission gave the go-ahead to local banks to offer payments via credit cards on mobile phones in January, which means local consumers will soon be able to make electronic payments just by swiping their phones.

“Smartphones have opened a new mobile era. M-commerce [mobile commerce] is the most frequent activity of people on their phones, after social networking,” Taiwan Mobile co-president Cliff Lai (賴弦五) said.

Last year, the local business-to-customer online shopping sector generated NT$400 billion (US$13.3 billion) in revenue, Taiwan Mobile said, citing statistics released by local market researcher Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC, 產業情報研究所).

Revenue from a new mobile shopping pilot program launched last year quadrupled from a year earlier, Taiwan Mobile said. Previously, Taiwan Mobile has sold mobile applications, such as music, electronic books and games, via its application store.

“As Taiwan’s mobile commerce grows rapidly, our new mobile shopping application provides an alternative revenue source. We cannot totally rely on generating revenue by offering telecom services,” Lai said.

In 2015, mobile commerce is expected to account for 15 percent of the total electronic commerce market, Taiwan Mobile said, without revealing the source of the projection.

Taiwan Mobile expects its mobile shopping service to reach break-even point in 2015 as it targets to expand its annual revenue to multi-billion dollars, Lai said.

“The mobile shopping service will contribute a significant share of Taiwan Mobile’s revenue in the future,” Lai said.

“Amazon is our role model,” Lai added.

HSBC expected Taiwan Mobile’s net income to shrink 4.6 percent to NT$15.58 billion this year from last year’s NT$16.33 billion. Revenue will grow to NT$108.78 billion this year from last year’s NT$100.42 billion, HSBC predicted.

HSBC raised its target price for Taiwan Mobile to NT$120 from NT$113 earlier this month, but retained its “neutral” rating. That implied a 4.35 percent upside from Taiwan Mobile’s stock price of NT$115 yesterday.

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