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China Telecom accepts partial bitcoin payment for new phone


Another sign that China is really taking the lead in the Bitcoin world: China Telecom lets customers reserve a new phone by making a downpayment in bitcoin!

On December 20 a co-branded China Telecom and Samsung phone will be launched (model W2014). If people want to get it on that day they will have to pay 0.1 bitcoin to reserve it. The value of 0.1 bitcoin on December 20 in RMB will determine how much your downpayment was and how much you have to pay for additionally in RMB to get the phone.

This is another endorsement for Bitcoin in China. The news will further increase Chinese consumers’ awareness of Bitcoin, which is very positive for the currency. The website shows exactly how to transfer the amount in bitcoin to China Telecom so also new users can make their first bitcoin payment. The first BTC payment is often a big hurdle for new users, so this is an important step.

Because China Telecom is a giant state-owned enterprise, it likely can’t endorse a payment in bitcoin without the government agreeing to it. This will increase consumer’ confidence in Bitcoin as something legitimate.

(Thanks for the link Bing Dai)

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  1. Chinese banks now forbidden to trade in bitcoins by the Chinese authorities.

  2. China just banned banks from doing transactions related to Bitcoin [1]. I think this shows how China, as a federalist state, is vastly chaotic in its regulatory behavior. Behavior of state owned enterprises does not necessarily extrapolate to the case where the thoughts that resulted in such behavior comes from the central government.

    It would be interesting to see your point of view on the effect of this for China’s bitcoin involvement.


  3. I don’t think I’ll have time to write a blog post today about the PBOC’s announcement, but generally I think it’s good news. The sector will be regulated (exchanges need to register for example) which makes it legitimate, and people are explicitly allowed to trade or invest in BTC. So far it was a grey area, now it’s clearly in the white zone.

    Regarding banks, nothing really changes there compared to the current situation. I had not expected anything else at this early stage of Bitcoin. It’s good for the exchanges, they can now develop without fear of competition from state-owned banks.

    The negative articles in the Western press were expected as well: most journalists don’t understand (or like) either Bitcoin or China 🙂

  4. Not sure how this will play out, but am watching the story of Bitcoins in China carefully. Marc, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    On another note, we featured you in our article on foreign entrepreneurs in China here. Let me know what you think 😀

  5. Thanks for the link to the foreign entrepreneurs article Brandon, nice article!