Earlier, WeChat customers could not send or forward links of products on Alibaba’s Taobao on the messaging platform.
While payments through mobile phones became significant in the past ten years only, it has developed into a major part of China’s mode of transaction, leaving the conventional methods of cash and credit cards behind.
While the famous WeChat Pay is run by Tencent, Alibaba runs the Alipay app, and both the platforms combined cover more than 1.4 Billion people in mainland China. In the past, the competition between the two companies meant that the customers couldn’t carry out transactions from one payment app to the other’s e-commerce platform. For example, if someone wanted to purchase products on Alibaba’s Taobao app, the only way they could do it would be through the Alipay app.
However, recently, in CNBC’s annual East Tech West conference in Guangzhou, China, Lei Maofeng who is vice general manager at WeChat Pay, hinted at the possibility of users being able to unobstructedly select their preferred digital payment app on Alibaba’s e-commerce platform. Lei was, however, unable to provide the audience with an exact deadline for the project
Earlier, WeChat customers could not send or forward links of products on Alibaba’s Taobao on the messaging platform. Therefore, the users had to go through a more tedious process of copying and pasting some illegible words from the link. The words were then supposed to be copied and pasted on Taobao’s platform to make the exact same search. On Monday, WeChat disclosed that the app users could now send links from external sites like Taobao on the platform. CNBC recently reported that the share function on Tabao also enabled users to share a product page link to WeChat messaging and payment app.
While WeChat is still looking into better developments that can catch the attention of the users, Alibaba apps like Ele.me and Youku have already begun allowing WeChat Pay. However, as of Thursday morning, Alipay was still the only payment option on Taobao and Tmall.
Chinese e-commerce company JD.com, formerly called 360buy, has also publicly appreciated WeChat Pay. Tencent, the company that runs WeChat Pay, has an approximately 17% stake in JD. The move also comes after many retailers and businessmen argued against the idea of having two separate payment apps for a single e-commerce site. According to them, two independent payment applications for a single e-commerce/food delivery application would be difficult to manage. Another issue might lie in the businesses witnessing higher rates.
The Chinese government has previously, tried to denounce such exploitative behavior by the leading Chinese companies. In the past, the government had fined Alibaba $2.8 billion for its controlling malpractices in the market.