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Alipay, Weibo Partner in E-commerce Mini Programs

Belinda Zhou 2019-09-18 04:10 AM

China’s microblogging platform Weibo Corp. (Nasdaq: WB) and mobile wallet Alipay, both backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA), announced that they have joined efforts in connecting merchants and consumers through their "mini-programs."

Ant Financial Services Group, a fintech affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, announced the collaboration at the open day event in Hangzhou on Tuesday. The online payment giant said it has more than 1 billion monthly active users, while Weibo, China's Twitter, had 486 million monthly active users as of June, according to its recent financial report.

Weibo said it will leverage its social network chain and high-quality content diffusion capabilities to help small business merchants in Alipay to better serve users. Alipay said it will provide shopping scenarios, products and platforms to enrich Weibo’s content through the deal. 

Alipay's mini-programs were launched in mainland China and Hong Kong. They allow users to access applications instantly through Alipay without downloading or installing them. Baidu Inc. (Nasdaq: BIDU), Tencent Holdings Ltd. (HKEX: 0700) and Bytedance Technology Co Ltd. have each developed their own versions of the mini-programs.

Recently, China's e-commerce rivalry heated up, as Alibaba's rivals JD.com Inc. (Nasdaq: JD) and Pinduoduo Inc. (Nasdaq: PDD) following closely behind in gaining their market shares. Alibaba ranks as the most valuable e-commerce company in China with a market cap of $466 billion, while JD.com and Pinduoduo had market caps of $455 billion and $412 billion, respectively, as of Tuesday.

Earlier this month, Alibaba sought to increase its share in luxury retail with the acquisition of Kaola from Chinese gaming giant NetEase Inc. (Nasdaq: NTES).

Shares in Alibaba closed at $178.98 apiece on Tuesday, up 1 percent. Weibo’s stock remained level, at $49.77 per American depositary share.