Chinese based tech firm Tencent, is competing yet again with Alibaba by offering taxi hailing and fare payments through messaging app WeChat.
Shortly after Alibaba’s Alipay mobile wallet added a feature to pay for taxi-cab rides in Beijing, growing competitor Tencent released an update to their immensely popular WeChat app. Tencent partnered with Didi Dache, a local Chinese startup that developed a cab hailing app, similar to Uber and GetTaxi. Tencent also invested $100 million into the startup. The partnership resulted in Didi Dache being implemented into the WeChat application.
With Didi Dache and WeChat payments, the updated application can help hail a taxi and offers the choice of paying the fare through the payment service. The update was released over a week ago and has already hailed over 100,000 cabs in Beijing. On the first day of the update, WeChat hailed over 20,000 cabs with 6000 of those ride fares being paid for through the app. The application was only available to iOS users on the first day of the update.
Tencent and Alibaba seem to be playing a game of tug-of-war. At every update or product added, the other company unveils their version of the idea. Shortly after WeChat updated their application to support payments, Alibaba released its own similar app and dropped all fees from the Alipay mobile wallet. Alibaba has also partnered with Tencent rival Sina, to integrate payments and product listings through its popular social network Weibo.
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The mobile payment segment in China is growing rapidly. Local tech giants are constantly looking for ways to integrate mobile wallets into all aspects of payment transactions, both online and offline.
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