Shanghai embraces tech wearable trend with debut of 'Shuashua' bracelet

The new wearable bracelet allows users swipe-to-pay convenience when using public transport and other small transactions

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 November, 2015, 2:03pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 November, 2015, 2:03pm

The municipal government of Shanghai has joined the trend for tech wearables, announcing that from next Monday passengers using the city's metro system can pay by swiping a "Shuashua" bracelet, according to news website jfdaily.com.

Jointly launched by a Beijing-based private tech company and the government-run Beijing Municipal Transportation Card Co, the Shuashua bracelet is being touted as the world’s first smart bracelet with payment function.

With its NFC payment module, the Shuashua bracelet, priced at about 170 yuan each, can be used when making transactions with bus and taxi services, as well as supermarkets, restaurants, petrol stations, cinemas and hospitals.

Since it launched in January, the wearable device has been introduced in Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Chengdu, and other leading cities.

It's not clear how many bracelets have been sold, but its potential market is huge. Just in Beijing, there are over 60 million contactless smart cards in use solely for paying the city’s public transport fares.

“I’m thinking of buying one soon because it seemed like a new fashion and is very convenient.” said Lin Xiaoxia, a Shanghai resident.

“It’s a little bit expensive. If it becomes free with deposit downpayment like 100 or 200 yuan, I bet every Shanghai resident would ask for one."

This smart bracelet can also synchronize data with a smartphone via an app. This allows users to easily check their payment record and manage personal consumer behaviour. The bracelet can double as a health-monitoring device, checking the wearer's physical condition for various activities, such as meditation, strolling, walking, fast walking, jogging and sleeping.

The adoption of wearables in mainland cities underscores Hong Kong’s slow reaction to the new market. Hong Kong took a bold step in introducing the Octopus Card in 1997, a product that has received accolades over the years, but more recently is seen as lagging when it comes to promoting itself into wearable technology.