Business / Trendsetter

Alipay launches new service to counter WeChat block

By Meng Jing ( Updated: 2015-02-16 10:03

Alipay launches new service to counter WeChat block

A receptionist works at Alipay's headquarters in Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang province, in this Jan 10, 2014 file photo. [Photo/Xinhua]

Alipay, the e-payment service backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, launched a new service to help companies and brand owners give gift envelopes on WeChat, a move seen as a counter attack against the Tencent's app's block.

Alipay said on Sunday that it has launched a platform dedicated to help companies to create their own cash-filled or coupon-filled red envelopes online.

More importantly, the gift envelopes that are generated and paid through Alipay's platform can be sent on WeChat, China's most widely used chat application backed by Alibaba's major rival Tencent Holdings Ltd.

The new service gives companies an opportunity to integrate its own advertisement on gift envelopes and share the photo-like envelopes with WeChat users. WeChat claims it has more than 450 million monthly active users.

The service is seen as a major move to compete with WeChat on the red envelope service, which has proven to be an effective way to capture new users to mobile payment during Spring Festival.

WeChat fired the first salvo early this month by blocking red envelopes sent from Alipay.

The move came within 12 hours of Alipay updating its service to allow users to share red envelopes on multiple channels, including Tencent's mobile chatting apps WeChat and QQ.

Tencent did not give any reason for blocking the Wallet service with its WeChat Web page, simply citing "security concerns" for rejecting requests to share Alipay's red envelopes on its platform.

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