Alibaba gets all the attention. Given its astonishing market capitalization, wealth of holdings, army of users and status as sitting on the edge of the largest IPO in the history of possibly ever, that is not an entirely surprising development. Alibaba, however, isn’t the only Chinese mega-player emerging on the scene, and they might not be the one ultimately best positioned to capitalize on the international movement toward mobile web vs desktop web.
JD is one of Alibaba’s main rivals on the Chinese front, and is the likely candidate for the next big U.S. IPO, reports the MIT Technology Review . JD targeting mobile users with a service described as a Facebook/Amazon hybrid that allows users access to a P2P payments network that gives buyers the option of using an online escrow system that holds payment until the product is delivered. JD only controls 17 percent of China’s e-commerce, a paltry figure compared to Alibaba’s 51 percent–but the majority of Alibaba users access the service via a desktop computer, whereas JD may already have the edge among mobile users because of its social commerce applications.
JD also recently entered into a partnership with internet retailer and Alibaba’s rival Tencent, which recently bought a 15 percent stake in JD. Tencent owns the popular WeChat app and Tenpay–its in-house online payments system.
JD and Wechat payment could work together and boost its mobile ecommerce offering—and this could pose a threat to Alibaba’s Tmall business,” Edith Yeung, vice president of international business development at Dolphin, told the MIT Technology Review. “You can say Tencent is like Facebook, and Wechat is the Whatsapp of China. The difference between Wechat and Whatsapp is that Wechat hooks up the mobile payment—and that is a big, big deal,” she adds.
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