Chinese search giant launches new payment service

Chinese search giant Baidu is moving full steam ahead to reach its local rivals and is now offering a mobile

Chinese search giant Baidu is moving full steam ahead to reach its local rivals and is now offering a mobile payment platform.

The “Baidu Wallet” was released yesterday on Tuesday April 15th 2014. The new wallet will support money transfers, payment and wealth management services, according to Baidu’s general manager of its payment branch Baifubao Zhang Zhenghua.

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Baidu is part of what the local online sector refers to as BAT. BAT consists of Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent and are the 3 largest internet based firms in China. These 3 firms offer the majority of online based services from social networking to marketplaces and payments. The Baidu Wallet puts “China’s Google” on par with Tencent’s WeChat payment service and Alibaba’s Alipay Wallet.

China has seen a successes rate of mobile and online payment adoption. Alipay and Weibo serve as the country’s largest alternative payment options and can be used for purchasing goods online, hailing cabs, mPOS’, and vending machines. The success of mobile wallet adoptions and services which come to replace conventional banking has led China’s Central Bank to begin imposing restrictions on mobile payment usage to stay relevant.

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Baidu was one of China’s biggest adopters of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin until it has become heavily regulated in the region.

It will be interesting to see how Baidu will compete against stiff competition from Alibaba and Tencent in the Chinese Ewallet space.

 

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Image courtesy of Wikimedia

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