Helping broaden the reach of Tencent’s mobile payments and mini program services, Tencent has unveiled a collaboration with Walmart China. With the relationship, Walmart will also be to expand digitally in the country, technode reported.
The work will focus on customer experiences, payments, precision marketing and communications through WeChat. In addition, the collaboration seeks to provide Walmart’s Sam’s Club with a stronger membership program. This work comes after Walmart China had tested “smart stores” in Shenzhen with “Walmart Scan and Pay” — a Tencent mini program — in March. Through the system, customers were able to scan their purchases and pay with their phones. Since then, the program has been rolled out to stores in 28 cities.
The news comes a few months after Walmart inked a deal with Tencent to use WeChat Pay, its popular payment app, in all of its stores in the western region of China. Reuters, citing Walmart, said the move underscores a market in China that is dividing into either the Ant Financial camp with its Alipay digital payment service or the Tencent camp with its WeChat payment app.
Both companies have been pouring billions of dollars into the retail market since the beginning of 2017, aiming to dominate the mobile payment market. Though Alipay is in the leading position, Reuters noted Tencent is closing in fast. Consumers in China typically have both apps on their mobile devices, but the backing of Walmart could help Tencent close in on Alipay further.
A Walmart spokeswoman told Reuters it had entered into a partnership with WeChat Pay and that it was a business decision aimed at improving the experience for the customers. The Western Region of China includes Sichuan, Yunnan and Gansu — which, though large, is less populated than the eastern part of China, noted the report.
The spokeswoman had said to Reuters.“In the future, Walmart will cooperate with more partners to provide payment solutions with more convenience and benefits.”