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Alipay challenges WeChat to a duel with “Cashless City Week” campaign

By Shan Xin  (People's Daily Online)    16:55, August 02, 2017

(A cashier is scaning QR code to collect payment)

Alipay by Alibaba Group, the world’s largest mobile payment platform, announced a “Cashless City Week” campaign starting from Aug. 1 as it fights WeChat Pay for mobile payment dominance.

During the campaign, Alipay will give cash rebates of 0.88 to 4,888 yuan (roughly $0.13 – $728) for each payment made using Alipay, as well as give users random chances to win 18,888 grams of gold.

Four buses in Shenzhen are participating in the weeklong campaign, allowing riders to pay fares via QR codes. This measure will be put into force citywide by the end of this year, as the southern city has signed an agreement with Alipay to co-build a “credit-smart city” in five years.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Alipay, NGOs, and businesses are all backing the campaign. More than 10 million physical merchants have reportedly joined in the initiative.

WeChat Pay, under Tencent Holdings, on Monday announced Aug. 8 to be “Cashless Day” and will reward payments made Aug. 1 to 7 random discounts ranging from 5 to 88 yuan and red packets containing surprise cash amounts and coupons will also be provided.

Alipay is focused on linking customers with businesses by constructing a financial system with its professional credit system, while WeChat Pay is superior in the field of social media.

According to Jing Daily, more than 80 percent of Chinese consumers use Alipay as their primary mobile payment app in China. WeChat Pay’s adoption rate is only 25 percent, followed by UnionPay at 20 percent. It remains to be seen if WeChat Pay’s social media strength will allow it to catch up.

Apple Pay and Baidu Wallet also launched promotion campaigns to support the idea of creating a cashless nation.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Shan Xin, Bianji)

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