Alipay 9.0 suggests WeChat and Dianping need to shuffle wings a bit. They may have been feeling comfortable in their payment services nests, but the new Alipay version just out is bound to cause more than a stirring in the chicken coop.
This is because the new release now has vendor and friend pages, and incorporates IOU’s and group payments for online shopping too.
Alipay 9.0 Leads with Discounts
Jack Ma’s new version offers “coupons for a 50-percent discount on 130,000 food and beverage enterprises accepting payments via Alipay,” according to a report on Yibada. The online news channel suspects this may be available to “other businesses and services” although I for one cannot see why Alipay should.
China Europe International Business School Approves
Associate professor at the business school, Chen Weiru applauds the development. “This move can help attract users and improve usage frequency” and furthermore it represents a challenge to Dianping too. WeChat also has some homework because Alipay 9.0 now includes a clone of its “friends” room.
We are Not Competing, Honest Says Alipay
I had to slap myself to check that I was awake when my eyes fell on the blatant Alipay denial. According to the Alibaba payment mechanism, it just wants to “venture into other kinds of business, not compete with others”. What a fine example of dispute resolution through rituals and good manners, Confucius style!
Alipay launched in 2004 and has China’s largest market share of online payments, thanks to having 300 million members and being in the Alibaba stable. It offers an escrow service whereby money passes to vendors only after consumers have expressed satisfaction.
Payment methods available to Taobao, Tmall and 300 direct worldwide merchants include MasterCard, Visa, Boleto Bancário, Transferência Bancária, Maestro, WebMoney, and QIWI Кошелек, all of whom seem happy to share the spoils with Alibaba’s Alipay.