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Nokia, Jiepang team up for social check-in initiative

Handset manufacturer Nokia has partnered with location-based application Jiepang to reward Chinese consumers for checking in on their NFC-enabled smartphones.

The app functions similar to a mobile loyalty card and users will be offered specific deals for checking in at locations multiple times. The technology is being preloaded on Nokia’s three latest smartphones that run on the Symbian Belle operating system – the Nokia 600, Nokia 700 and Nokia 701.

“The most important function of NFC is with payments, but it also has a lot of other uses, such as social media check-ins,” said Leo Lee, marketing and business development manager at Jiepang, Hong Kong.

“Ordinary users are worried about how NFC will impact them, which seems more manageable with social check-ins,” he said.

Nokia is an international wireless handset manufacturer that reaches more than 1.3 billion people.

Jiepang is a location-based, social app in China with more than 1.3 million users.

Rewarding check-ins
With the Jiepang app, consumers can check-in to their favorite stores and shops across China on their Nokia devices.

Consumers can also check in by scanning NFC stickers in merchants’ windows.

“NFC makes check-ins easier because users can launch app and it automatically finds where you are to check in instead of searching for nearby locations,” Mr. Lee said.

Additionally, consumers are rewarded for checking in at the local and small merchants featured on the app.

For example, once a consumer checks in at a local coffee shop three times, they are offered a deal on their next order.

“By using deals and incentives, consumers can check-in to places they go with a social media aspect,” Mr. Lee said.

“It’s a one-stop spot for merchants to build a mobile presence on,” he said.

Brand on mobile
By offering mobile rewards, Jiepang has built a loyal following of users, and they are hoping that by partnering with Nokia it will make NFC more widespread in China.

Nokia has completely revamped its strategy recently by focusing on international markets and this deal with Jiepang is a clear indicator of where the company wants to be.

Most recently, the manufacturer partnered with mobile platform Polar Mobile to launch more than 300 applications on specific smartphones. (see story).

The company also recently sold off an operator-focused business to hone in on smartphone manufacturing.

“As a pioneer of the NFC technology, we are really excited to work with Nokia to bring this convenient and authentic check-in service to everyday life,” Mr. Lee said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York