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Phone Cards To From China To The United States And The Internet

Various companies have broken into the Internet market in China, including Sina, Sohu, and NetEase. By teaming up with mobile-phone companies and offering messaging, these companies have become established. In China mobile phones have become the most popular means of communication, with 230 million wireless users, compared with 220 million land-line customers.

Most bills are paid in cash, or by buying wireless phone cards. By comparison, the United States has 150 million mobile-phone subscribers. Prepaid phone cards, almost nonexistent a decade ago, have become very popular in the past few years among immigrant communities in the United States. They are very popular in the Flushing Chinatown, in New York, NY. Normally, it costs 30 cents to 40 cents a minute to call a country like China using any major telephone company service, but using the prepaid phone cards, the rate is much cheaper. A phone card issued by a major telecommunications company offers a rate as low as just over 2 cents a minute.

This works slightly different inside China. Users do not pay for services through credit cards often, but pay cash through mobile phone bills and buy wireless phone cards. It’s a lot easier to get a cell phone even for the urban nouveau-riche than to get a land line phone. They buy phone cards to pay for calls, messaging and other services, including online dating and gambling. All three Chinese Internet companies have a relationship with mobile-phone carriers, which accounts for their success. Users can forward e-mail, download music and cruise on the Internet through their mobile phone or Blackberry. Messaging by mobile phone has been a hit in China because it costs about a fifth as much to send a message as it does to make a call. Less entertainment and partying opportunities have pushed into prominence Internet gambling as a big potential revenue source for these companies In the coastal cities, the new middle class is signing up for Internet services. Credit-card billing is uncommon in China, most payment are done in cash by buying phone cards.

Phone cards are popular in Chinatown, NY, too. In a store in Flushing, a Chinese man has a big business in phone cards. He says that the world is becoming a global village. People need to communicate with each other and the cheapest way is phone cards.