When Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) launched the Passbook app in iOS 6 for e-tickets, coupons, and loyalty cards, many were concerned that it’d be the kind of thing that’s only useful in the US. But some major Chinese web companies are already joining in the action, updating their apps to support Passbook.
One good example is the QQ Movie Tickets app (pictured above) from Tencent (HKG:0700), China’s biggest internet firm. After buying a ticket for a movie within that app, you’ll get the option to either “Send to my phone” or “Add to Passbook.” If you do the latter, you’ll then see a ticket containing a QR code sitting snuggly in your skeuomorphic-tastic Passbook app. Then you’ll have to hope that the cinema chain you’re going to knows what on earth to do with that thing.
Flights and hotels too
Qunar’s official blog (see here) quotes their own director of mobile apps, Yang Changle, as saying that it supports both hotels and flights, and tunes into Apple’s location-based mechanism in Passbook that’ll open up the right e-card as soon as you arrive at the hotel. Ctrip’s will inevitably do the same.
If you’re keen to use Passbook but need pointing in the right direction, the app store has a section called “Apps for Passbook” (pictured right, as it appears for Chinese users) which serves as its name implies. For the moment, the pickings are slim for those based in China, but it’s good to see some big names already making use of it.
And when it comes time to head to the airport, cinema, or wherever, and you decide to use your iOS 6-running iPhone for directions, hopefully you’ve also got Google Maps, Baidu Maps, or Tencent’s own Soso Maps in there as a back-up. Because… Well, you know.