Will China Top U.S. as NFC Leader?

Near Field Communications (NFC) technology has come a long way in the United States in the last twelve months, but it has a long way to go before NFC is accessible and comfortable in the hands of every mobile consumer.

In China, on the other hand, NFC is presently more of an unfamiliar phenomenon than it is in the U.S. But that may soon change. And if the Chinese are more aggressive than the U.S. in expanding and cultivating this technology, NFC’s biggest days in the immediate future might take place in Asia.

This week, major Chinese-based mobile operator China Unicom announced that it is partnering with China Merchants Bank to launch a mobile wallet service.

The service will be aimed at NFC-capable phones in Shanghai, ZDNET confirms.

In a post Monday on microblog site Weibo, China Unicom said subscribers can link their China Merchants Bank account to their SIM cards to turn their phones into a mobile wallet… Participating merchants include Starbucks, Dairy Queen and Watsons, it added.

China Unicom says Shanghai is the first city to adopt the mobile payment system. Plans to introduce it to the rest of China are already being made.