Chinese internet giants Alibaba Group Holding and Tencent Holdings are said to be on the verge of a major e-commerce collaboration, which will see bargain online shopping platform Taobao Deals offered as a mini-program on multipurpose super app WeChat.
Alibaba Vice President Wang Hai said the company was looking forward to the partnership with Tencent, but the application was still in the process of being approved, the report said.
Media outlet Jiemian reported on Wednesday that the company founded by Jack Ma is testing a mini program called Taobao Tejiaban, a discount app, and will launch it after trials, citing a customer service employee of the app.
Under this initiative, Taobao Deals will accept transactions that use online payment service WeChat Pay, which is the main rival of Alibaba affiliate Ant Group’s Alipay. Alibaba, the parent company of the South China Morning Post, has long barred the use of WeChat Pay on its Chinese retail platforms, including Tmall and Taobao Marketplace. Transactions on Tencent’s WeChat have also been exclusive to the platform’s own payment service.
Taobao Deals is a C2M customized goods-focused app that doubled its monthly active users every 20 days in the three months after its launch last March.
“It’s a positive signal for the antitrust situation in the country,” said Dong Yizhi, a lawyer at Shanghai-based Joint-Win Partners. “This is the first time that Alibaba has cooperated with Tencent on e-commerce and online payment. The barriers have to be broken by regulations, so that China’s internet industry can develop in a healthy manner.”
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