Never mind what PayPal has just unveiled today — look at these mobile phone credit card readers from China instead. If you ask Square CEO Jack Dorsey, we’re sure he’ll have to a thing or two to say about these familiar-looking dongles (and not to mention the various weibo microblogging services that were inspired by Jack’s Twitter platform). Coincidentally, all three of these pictures above showed up on Sina Weibo earlier today, albeit from different accounts with very little detail in each post — we’d like to think they’re trying to make a point one after the other. So who’s behind these little plastic bricks from the Far East?
Starting from the left (courtesy of Xiaomi Vice President Li Wanqiang) we have Lakala, a well-known Chinese payment service provider whose POS terminals are featured in major supermarkets and convenience stores. We spoke to the company’s CEO Sun Taoran who assured us that this is a booming business in China, as credit cards are more popular than you’d expect these days (most large earteries, supermarkets and even karaoke bars in domestic cities will happily accept them); and of course, he’d certainly want a slice of that massive smartphone pie over there. The Beijing-based company also said its dongle will function even without a phone client installed, but it wouldn’t further elaborate at this point. Expect to see Lakala’s product launch in May.
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