An announcement on a Bitcoin forum says that Baidu Jiasule, a small security service owned by one of China’s biggest Internet companies, will begin accepting Bitcoins as payment. The press release (in Chinese) is here.
In the U.S. Bitcoin is under increasing government scrutiny. In China the peer-to-peer virtual currency is growing in popularity, with several exchanges, investment services, and Bitcoin mining operations (Bitcoin mining involves custom high-speed computer chips, not drills and shovels).
From what we can tell, so far, the press release looks more like a publicity stunt than a serious strategic move. Rather than automating them, Jiasule included an email address for manual processing of payments. A look at the transactions shows that as of 5:30 p.m. ET, they’d taken in 0.16955721 of a Bitcoin, or about $25.97 at today’s rates.AK