The mobile payment market in China for cab-calling services is becoming the point of conflict for leaders Alibaba and Tencent. Tencent’s Didi announced on February 18, 2014 that if taxi passengers pay their taxi fares through WeChat, they will get a 12 yuan price subsidy.
Just hours after the announcement, Alibaba’s KuaiDi also made an announcement that if passengers pay through Alipay, they will cut ;always one yuan more than our competitor’. In big cities such as Beijing, a taxi ride that is three kilometers long might be free of charge, as the starting fare begins at 13 yuan. On the other hand, starting fares in the smaller cities are even less than that.
The competition in the market is becoming more fierce almost on a daily basis and it is predicted that the price war might lead to a healthy development of the mobile payment market. At present, Alipay leads the market with 300 million registered users. Out of these users, 100 million use mobile phones. Chinese WeChat users distributed about 200 million yuan of ‘lucky money’ to one another through the platform during Spring Festival holiday between January 31, 2014 and February 6, 2014.
Ma Yun, the chairman of Alibaba said that the lucky money maneuver came as a surprise attack on the Pearl Harbour and that it is a good thing that the Spring Festival ends soon.
Photo Credits: NPR