Ant Group, Tencent Give State-Owned UnionPay More Access to Mobile Payment Platforms 

Alipay, WeChat Pay, UnionPay, mobile payments, mobile ecosystems, accessibility, transparency

Alipay and WeChat Pay are giving state-owned bank card clearinghouse UnionPay even more access to their mobile payment ecosystems as China continues to push Big Tech companies to become more transparent in their operations, the South China Morning Post reported Monday (Oct. 4). 

Ant Group-owned Alipay will debut payment QR codes through UnionPay’s Cloud QuickPass app for offline payments in every city across China by next March, the company posted in a statement on Alipay’s official WeChat account Saturday (Oct. 2). The QR code feature is available in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Chengdu, Chongqing, Xi’an and other major Chinese cities. 

Almost 85% of Alibaba Group Holding’s online Taobao Marketplace merchants accept Cloud QuickPass as one of their payment options.

Smaller programs on Tencent Holdings app WeChat are expected to have access to UnionPay’s Cloud QuickPass, the company said in a statement last week, after a beta test that started in September. 

Reading app WeRead, video-streaming platform Tencent Video and e-commerce service are among the apps that already have access to Cloud QuickPass. Consumers can also scan the WeChat Pay code through the Cloud QuickPass app for offline payments. 

Related: Ant to Turn Over Consumer Credit Info to Chinese Government 

Consumer lending service Ant Group Co. agreed last month to turn over all of its credit data to Chinese government officials for inclusion in a federal credit reporting system, according to a Wall Street Journal report. 

Ant’s virtual credit card service, Huabei, said on social media that it is “advancing with its orderly inclusion into the financial credit information database held by the Credit Reference Center of the (People’s Bank of China),” referring to China’s central bank. 

Ant’s customer data and its proprietary algorithms had helped the company grow both before and after its failed IPO in November, which fell apart because of concern in Beijing about the company’s growth and lack of regulatory oversight. Ant operates payment and lifestyle app Alipay, used by more than 1 billion people in China.