Daily Digital Pulse of China: Tencent, Alipay, Bitcoin & JD
Tencent’s Own WeChat Just Might be the Death of Tencent’s Other Messaging App, QQ
Tencent’s enormously popular mobile messaging app, WeChat, meant a new, positive path for the Internet company, but such strategic moves do not come without sacrifices. QQ, the company’s PC-based messaging app, was quite widely used, but could not possibly stand up to the rise of WeChat, especially with the decline in PC use and the Chinese penchant for mobile devices. The gradual phasing out of QQ wasn’t determined by the market, but by Tencent’s future course of action. While it may seem as though WeChat has everything going for it, there is precisely one significant hurdle it hasn’t been to jump – the app lacks the ability to be Tencent’s cash cow, as QQ was previously. For the time being, however, Tencent is okay with that, as the company is certain of WeChat’s significance in the future mobile market. WeChat had fierce competition when it entered the market, so Tencent had to focus not on making revenue, but gaining a large user base. The popular Internet company can’t keep going on like this forever, though, as a lack of revenue will surely catch up with it.
Source:China Internet Watch
Alipay Vending Machines on University Campuses Now Being Made “Sonic”
One hundred and fifty of the universities across the country have Alipay vending machines available to their students. These machines, however, are now being equipped with microphones, allowing for a “personal payment” feature. Previously, this feature was only available in subway stations, taxi queues, and shopping payment areas at which customers can use Alipay to pay for their products.
Central Bank Issues New Bans On Bitcoin
Alipay and Tenpay have terminated their payment and clearing services for Bitcoin after the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) issued a ban forbidding banks and third-party payment companies from doing business with Bitcoin exchanges. This ban also extends to other crypto-currencies such as Litecoin as well as other peer-to-peer currency trading sites. To date, BTC China and Okcoin are the two major domestic exchange sites that have had parts of their business halted. Furthermore, companies such as Baidu and Guoke have also suspended related business. The PBOC has created a space of support by leaving private clients to make their own decisions about doing business with the virtual currency.
Source:China Web 2.0
Jingdong Supermarket’s Soaring Sales
JD.com’s supermarket store has seen an astounding jump in sales over the past half year, with an eleven-fold increase since May of 2013. JD has established strategic partnerships with several brands, such as Coca-Cola, that allows the e-commerce platform to purchase items directly from manufacturers, which helps bring down procurement costs for consumers and brings about a sense of security. Food e-commerce marketplaces such as JD.com’s are popping up rapidly, and competition is becoming more and more fierce.