Daily Digital Pulse of China: Baidu & Alipay

China Digital

Baidu Users Comparing Luxury Goods Prices

It’s no secret among China’s luxury consumers that the prices of luxury goods are much higher on the mainland than elsewhere, but they’re getting more cost-savvy—new data from Baidu shows that internet users consider price to be the most important concern when searching for luxury goods online. Baidu’s data centre reports that the term “price” was by far the most common search term associated with luxury bags and watches in 2013. Internet searches are often used to find the original price of luxury goods before China’s notoriously high tariffs are imposed, says the report. Chinese luxury consumers are using price searches to measure whether or not items are worth buying. The high prices have driven Chinese consumers to buy an estimated two-thirds of luxury goods outside the mainland. In addition, they use a variety of other purchase methods to avoid tariffs, such as daigou (buying online from someone who has purchased an item abroad) or having their travelling friends and family buy items for them.

Source: Jing Daily


China Digital

Alipay Is Worlds Largest Mobile Payment Provider

Alipay, the payment subsidiary of China's largest e-commerce firm Alibaba Group, said over the weekend that its total mobile payment volume reached 900 billion yuan ($148.41 billion) in 2013, making it the largest mobile payment provider in the world. The number has far exceeded the combined payment volume of the world's two leading payment firms, US-based Square Inc and PayPal, a division of eBay Inc, the company said in a posting on its official Sina Weibo account Saturday. But Alipay is facing increasing competition. Major rival Tencent launched its mobile payment service via its popular instant messaging service WeChat in August 2013, which many analysts consider a strong competitor for Alipay in the mobile payment field. WeChat payment has gained a significant number of users through its aggressive promotion recently, such as its cooperation with taxi-hailing app Didi Dache and its "red envelope" campaign during the Spring Festival holidays, which enables users to send out cash gifts to their WeChat friends by linking their bank cards to the software. Feeling the competition, Alipay also launched a similar cooperation with taxi-hailing app Kuaidi Dache, hoping to cultivate users' habit to use mobile payment services in offline deals.

Source: Global Times