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War of the Payment Platforms China

Beijing, China - Wechat. One of the most powerful platforms in China has started to go the way of Facebook in that it has opened it's API to let developers build games and apps inside it's app.

However, the monetization of those apps just got a roadblock with Alipay closing off its API in the platform. The ability for small developers to now access a payment gateway, got a 50,000 deposits roadblock. Why? Because Alipay is owned by Alibaba group who will increase its shares in Sina Weibo (the competitor app to wechat) to 50%. By stopping alipay's wechat payment API support, it forces Tencent to either remove the 50,000 deposit barrior, or have only big players who can afford to put the cash on the table to make it happen, which will slow innovation down. The war of the wechat's continues as the world turns...


Chinese third-party payment processor Alipay and Tencent's (0700.HK) WeChat (Weixin) mobile instant messaging platform have confirmed that Alipay will shut down its application programming interface (API) payment gateway for WeChat's public accounts platform. Alipay is no longer accepting merchant applications for Alipay API access from WeChat public account operators. WeChat public accounts already approved by Alipay will not be immediately affected, but will see Alipay support halted once existing contracts expire.

Tencent's own WeChat Pay ("Weixin Zhifu") payment platform is not yet fully available to WeChat public account operators, and Tencent requires that merchants pay a reported RMB 50,000 security deposit in order to activate WeChat pay services on public accounts. Due to this large barrier to entry, many small and medium-sized merchants on WeChat's public accounts platform have traditionally opted to accept payments only via Alipay.

In July, 2013, Alipay parent Alibaba Group blocked API access to marketing services offered by members of its Taoke Taobao affiliate network on WeChat.