Scoble needs to talk to Ming Lau. He is a flash designer and working on getting a company going in Beijing. He opened my eyes to the use of Flash as a platform for the future of applications and payments. Here are the stats:
- Over 400,000 million people in China have cell phones
- Only 100,000 million people have computers
You can do the math as to what is the largest growing computing platform in Asia — your phone! Ming says the largest growing region for this is Japan. While most services are still pull, there more progressive companies use Flashcast for push technology.
To show me how cool this technology was he pulled up a few Flash applications on his cell phone. First he showed me the weather in Beijing and the traffic congestion in London. “Hey, wait a minute, want to see what traffic in NYC looks like?” he asked. “Look here, I can pull up live photographs of what traffic looks like on 5th Ave.” Take a look and see. I was impressed.
This is just the beginning. Within Asia many cell phone providers are allowing their customers to pre-pay for services or into an account that will accrue interest. This enables consumers to pay for retail transactions using their cell phone, and not a credit card.
Credit cards were widely accepted in S. Korea with companies like LG offering them like candy on the street. Almost overnight eveyone had credit and spent the money, never paying it back. LG ended up selling off the credit side of the business.
Ming says that within China it is much less culturally acceptable to obtain personal credit. He says people much prefer a pre-paid system, which is more in line with pre-paid cards, or in the case of the 400,000 million cell phone users — their pre-paid mobile phone account.