With Chinese authorities granting 4G licenses to the nation’s big three telecom carriers, retailers are among those scrambling to grab new business opportunities.
Suning Commerce Group (002024.CN), for example, is said to be upgrading its logistics and setting up special zones in its brick-and-mortar stores for 4G phone sales. The group will combine its online and offline stores to enhance the shopping experience for customers. Suning Yigou, its e-commerce platform, said recently that its weekly sales of 4G phones have already reached 5,000 units, according to the China Securities Journal.
The group will boost stocks of latest 4G handset models so that customers can have more options to choose from.
The Ministry of industry and Information Technology has released recently a list of approved 4G handsets. Names like HTC, ZTE, Huawei, Coolpad, Samsung, HTC and Sony figure on the list.
The business potential is so enormous that Suning’s rival GOME is also eyeing the market segment. Financial news website Yicai.com has reported that the retail chain has set up 4G experience zones in over 50 outlets, and that the figure is expected to go up to 300 or more next year.
If history is any guide, the 4G era will bring huge business opportunity not only to carriers, but also to other related industries. After China commercialized 3G technologies for three years, sales of 3G terminal devices such as handsets and tablets reached 356 billion yuan (US$58.6 billion), the Securities Journal noted.
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