China’s two ecommerce giants, Alibaba and Tencent, are collaborating for the first time, which will see Alibaba’s bargain online shopping platform Taobao Deals offered as a mini-program on Tencent’s multipurpose super app WeChat
A move prompted by the China’s anti-trust regulators
The collaboration means that users of Taobao Deals can now pay via WeChat Pay.
Alibaba 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.
This move was prompted by China’s antitrust regulators, who are in the midst of reeling in web-based monopolies. As long-time rivals, Alibaba and Tencent typically block each other’s services from their platforms. Ant Group, an affiliate of Alibaba, competes with WeChat Pay with its own app, Alipay. Together, Alipay and WeChat Pay have 90% of China’s digital payments market.
Tencent will have to approve the listing of any new mini-programs on WeChat. It is not known when Taobao Deals will be included in the platform.
Taobao Deals’ potential WeChat entry could also challenge Pinduoduo’s market share whose total annual active buyers exceeded Alibaba as of Q4 2020.