Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA) Wants To Sell Smartphones To Rural China Folk

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) wants even folks in rural Chinese towns to have their own smartphones. Of course, the Chinese electronic commerce giant wants those phones to have been purchased from them.

According to Alizila which report comes to us via TechCrunch, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) has partnered with the biggest telecom company in China by subscriber base, China Telecom, to sell smartphones to rural Chinese communities.

The phones, called “Tianyi Taobao Shopping Handsets,” will reportedly cost as low as 299 RMB or about $48 per unit and are intended for the poorer third-and fourth-tier cities and rural areas in the country.

As expected, since Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) is an Internet shopping giant, the phones will either run on the YunOS operating system developed by the company, or will have the Mobile Taobao app preinstalled on the phone. Taobao is a site owned and operated by Alibaba.

There was no concrete information shared about which region of China will get which version of the “Tianyi Taobao Shopping Handsets,” but the company will decide whether to launch a YunOS phone or a phone preinstalled with the Mobile Taobao app in a certain area based on the people living there, the reports note.

According to Alizila, the Tianyi Taobao Shopping Handsets were set to be available through China Telecom on Saturday, April 25. The news organization also adds that 14 models of the handsets are set to be included in the initial rollout.

Out of these 14 models, six are said to be “more expensive” models made by Coolpad, Hisense and TCL. These models will be the versions with only the Mobile Taobao app preinstalled.

The less-costly members of the 14-member initial lineup, or the remaining eight models, are made by Uniscope, Ctyon and Kingsun, Alizila says. These phones will be those who are running the YunOS mobile operating system.

The higher end of the price range for the Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) and China Telecom phones will be sold for RMB 699 or $113, the publication says.

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By the end of last year, Tiger Global Management, founded by Chase Coleman, owned about 5.82 million Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) shares.

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