Alibaba is launching its own mobile telecom service in June

Alibaba will start offering phone service in June as Chinese regulators expand competition in the world’s largest mobile market. The service will include voice and third-generation data packages on network capacity leased from all three state-owned carriers, according to Alizila, a website run by Alibaba. The packages will be sold through Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall sites and can be paid for with Alipay, the company’s e-payment affiliate.

In December last year, the Chinese government issued what is known as ‘mobile virtual network operator’ licenses to HiChina, a subsidiary of e-commerce giant Alibaba, as well as its rival JD.com, allowing them to resell mobile telecom services. This means they get to lease mobile services from the three state-run major carriers — China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile — but offer their own independent packages with data and discounts for mobile devices that may differ from what is on the market right now. Today Alibaba announced that it will start providing its telecom services, including 3G data and voice calls, in June. It is already working with the three telecom providers, and users can start registering with Alibaba in May for mobile phone numbers starting with “170.”

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