Daily Digital Pulse Of China: Sogou, Alipay, Sina Weibo

China Digital

Sogou Invests Big In Voice Assistant Software Research

Recently, Sogou mobile GM Ru Liyun revealed that the company plans to invest heavily in the voice recognition field, and established a research center last March. Sogou also recently released a smartphone app called Sogou Voice Assistant, which is quite similar in functionality to Siri. But did they act so late upon this? Siri was released in the fall of 2011 and similar apps had been around quite a while before then; why did Sogou wait until March 2012 to begin working on this?

Source: Tech In Asia

China Digital

Alipay Beta-testing New Mobile Financial Service

Alipay begins beta-testing the rumored Passbook-like service, called Ka Bao, today. Similar to Apple’s Passbook, local coupons, digital tickets or membership cards can be added to Ka Bao. What’s more, it integrates personal financial features and will enable personal financial analysis service, according to Xu Ji, general manager of mobile payment businesses at Alipay (article in Chinese). The service will be officially launched in January 2013. Possibly another official name will be revealed then.

Source: Tech Node

China E-Commerce

Sina’s E-Payments Service To Be Rebranded To WeiboPay

Sina, makers of the Twitter-like Weibo, is to rebrand their online payment service SinaPay to WeiboPay (like Paypal). WeiboPay still has a lot of local competitors, with more established e-payments systems already in place from the likes of Alibaba (with Alipay) and Tencent (TenPay).

Source: Tech In Asia

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