Chinese social microblogging platform Weibo, has updated their iOS application to support a new payment feature.
The Twitter like service just recently rolled out an update for their mobile application and added a new option called “Weibo-Wallet”. The integrated wallet is still somewhat of a mystery as its usage is still unclear. However looking back at Weibo’s parent company Sina, and their partnership with Ecommerce giant Alibaba, the feature will most likely be used as payment for products from within the app. In August of last year Weibo and Alibaba collaborated to integrate Taobao listings within the Weibo feed, and allowed for purchases to be made directly from the social site. An integrated service was also made available allowing for Weibo users to login to Taobao and vice-versa with the same login credentials.
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Sina has been working on creating a larger Ecommerce presence, and in July of last year was granted authorization from the People’s Bank of China to process payments, and just recently announced their online credit system Xinyongbao (Credit-Treasure). Weibo also served as an early platform for smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi and their popular flash sales. Payments to Xiaomi were made via a beta payment system called WeiboPay. Most likely, the Weibo-Wallet is derived from the now defunct WeiboPay service.
No details were released on exactly how the payment feature will work. It is not certain if the payment feature will only be used for product purchases or will also incorporate a person-to-person payment feature like WeChat. Sina CEO Charles Chao has admitted in the past that less people are using Weibo in favor of WeChat, and it would seem he is interested in getting back those users. The update is currently available for iOS supported devices with Android powered devices expected to receive the update soon.