You can see the WeChat messaging app logo on your smartphone.
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Guangzhou, China-For many years, China’s major Internet platforms have been operating like walled gardens, blocking links from competitors and not allowing users to use competitors’ payment products to purchase goods.
As regulators force Chinese technology giants to tear down walls and change some of their anti-competitive behaviors, this situation is beginning to change.
Alibaba Has begun to allow users to purchase goods through some of its apps WeChat Pay, A payment service operated by its competitors Tencent, The e-commerce giant told CNBC. Alibaba already has its own payment service, Alipay, operated by its affiliate Ant Group.
The food delivery app Ele.me and the video service Youku have recently integrated WeChat Pay.Alibaba’s other apps, Shuqi, Damai and Koala, are now Also supports Tencent’s payment service.
Alibaba also said that it is waiting for Tencent’s approval to introduce WeChat Pay into its second-hand goods market Xianyu, grocery store app Hema, and discount shopping service Taobao offers.
There is no news about when Alibaba will introduce WeChat Pay to its two main shopping apps-Taobao and Tmall.
“User experience and transaction security are our top priorities, and we are actively working to gradually introduce multiple payment methods on our platform,” said a Taobao spokesperson.
An Alibaba spokesperson added that the company will “continue to find common ground with its peers in the platform economy to better serve Chinese consumers.”
When CNBC contacted Tencent, Tencent did not immediately comment.
Alibaba and Tencent, the two largest Internet companies in China, have established a dominant position through huge services, which are usually centered on so-called super apps.
Tencent operates WeChat, China’s largest instant messaging app, with more than 1 billion users, while Alibaba’s subsidiary Ant Group operates Alipay.
Through these applications, users can access a range of services from food delivery to flight and hotel reservation services. Without leaving these apps, people can pay for their goods and services.
But this has also created a situation where, for a long time, competitors will not allow each other to provide services on their respective platforms.
Earlier this month, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) told some of China’s largest Internet companies-including Alibaba, Tencent and TikTok owner Bytedance-to stop blocking links to each other’s content.
Starting on September 17, Tencent began to allow users to access external links in one-to-one chats. For example, if someone shares a link from Alibaba Taobao in WeChat, the user can open the link without leaving the messaging app. Previously, users had to copy the link into the Taobao application.
The integration of WeChat Pay and Alibaba’s application seems to be a step further.
It is unclear whether Tencent will consider introducing Alipay into any of its services.
But the opening of these applications can provide users with more choices, and may help Tencent and Alibaba to attract some new users for their services.