WeChat brings new weapon to mobile pay war

Updated: 2014-03-06 07:17

By He Wei in Shanghai (China Daily)

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WeChat brings new weapon to mobile pay war

Tencent Holdings Ltd's recently announced mobile wealth management service will enable WeChat users to buy and sell funds via mobile devices. Provided to China Daily  

Competition for mobile payments has gone viral as China's Internet duo try to be the nation's largest digital wallet provider.

WeChat, part-social networking, part-payment platform, allows merchants to accept customers' money via Tenpay, the third-party payment tool run by Tencent Holdings Ltd.

The new function was officially launched on Wednesday after trial tests were conducted among vendors across 20 industries from banking to dining and tourism to e-commerce, a company statement sent to China Daily said.

WeChat brings new weapon to mobile pay war

WeChat brings new weapon to mobile pay war

This marks the latest attempt by Tencent to integrate online and offline resources and make inroads into the territory long dominated by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

To activate WeChat's payment services on public accounts, merchants have to pay 20,000 yuan ($3,266) as a deposit. Tencent charges 0.6 percent of generated revenues as a commission.

Cashless transactions can be made by scanning a WeChat-specific QR code provided by vendors. Current partners include online apparel site Vipshop Holdings Ltd, People's Insurance Company of China Holdings Co and telecom carrier China Unicom.

WeChat declined to estimate how many corporate clients have signed up for the service. But marketing activities may soon become actual shopping with a smartphone, the statement noted.

WeChat is seeking greater autonomy to manage customers after Alipay, the payment equivalent of Alibaba, decided to shut down its payment gateway for WeChat's public accounts platform in February.

Those WeChat public accounts that have already been approved by Alipay won't immediately be affected but will see Alipay support halted once existing contracts expire, the company said.


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