Daily Digital Pulse of China: Alibaba, WeChat & Social Messaging
WeChat Users Now Able to Order and Pay for Dishes
Tencent’s lifestyle e-commerce service, Micro-Life, has updated its WeChat account to a new version called X1. This version further facilitates mobile CRM by supporting customized offerings, payments, and services. It also makes ordering and paying at restaurants fully within WeChat possible. McDonald’s was actually one of the first restaurants able to issue e-coupons and accept payments for food purchases. Micro-Life also plans to support KTV reservations and is endeavoring towards getting department stores onto WeChat.
Source: Tech Node
Alibaba’s Late Entry Into the Social Messaging Ring
Alibaba has recently implemented their 14 month project of Laiwang( social messaging app). It seems as though when it comes to social messaging WeChat claims all the marbles, Alibaba’s attempt to battle Tencent’s monetizing precious will be difficult. Alibaba CEO Johnathan Lu stated that “This product will help connect different aspects of people’s social life, lifestyle and consumer habits [and will] create new wireless application scenarios.” Laiwang is virtually the same as WeChat in terms of functionality, However, Laiwang has a browser-based option, and lets users share things with all buddies in a Path-like social network that complements the messaging experience. If you are a prospective China Telecom user, you will be seeing the preinstalled Laiwang on your new smartphone. This might help boost the amount of users; however the key lies in Alibaba’s capability of incorporating Alibaba’s popular e-shopping sites, Tmall and Taobao, either for e-store merchants or for regular users to engage in mobile commerce. Of course this would have been better if the app was released earlier. Indeed WeChat has gained another challenger, but fortunately this one arrived late to the fight.
Source: Tech In Asia
Alibaba Acquires Cloud Storage Provider, Kanbox
Alibaba has acquired Kanbox, a Chinese cloud storage provider. This acquisition seems to be an attempt by Alibaba to move into the mobile and cloud storage sectors. Not only that, but Alibaba also seems to be wanting to provide more consumer-oriented web services. Kanbox has 15 million users, 3 million of whom are on mobile, and the company offers special accounts for Taobao sellers. As a promotion, Alibaba and Kanbox are offering 10 TB of free storage to users who sign up for Alibaba’s messaging app, Laiwang.
Source: Tech In Asia