The evident dominance that Tencent’s WeChat has over Alipay from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) was proved one more time during the Lunar New Year as reported by Forbes. Giving red envelopes that are stuffed with cash during the Chinese Lunar Year or Spring Festival is an honored tradition in China. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA)’s rival Tencent introduced a red envelope marketing strategy last year through its WeChat platform with major success.
After Tencent succeeded with its envelope marketing strategy and recorded a great accomplishment in China’s market, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA)’s founder Jack Ma called it the “Pearl Harbor attack”, and led Alipay’s fight by posting his own red envelopes on Weibo, a Chinese platform that is similar to Twitter.
This year, during the China Central Television Spring Festival gala that was broadcast on Lunar New Year’s Eve, WeChat encouraged its users to shake their phones during the show to stand a chance in receiving red envelopes with cash gifts. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA)’s rival Tencent reported that their shaking promotion was a massive success, with 810 million shakes per minute being recorded and 120 million envelopes handed out to users. That’s 48.6 billion shakes each hour!
Jack Ma posted a picture on New Year’s Eve with soccer star David Beckham asking the question “who looks like an alien?”, with people who answered correctly (“me”) getting red envelops directly from the billionaire himself. In the first 3 minutes, 99,999 red envelopes that total the amount of 990,000 Yuan were grabbed. In the week that lead up to the New Year, Alibaba’s Alipay gave out 430,000 million envelopes that summed up a total value of 600 million Yuan.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) continues to struggle against the internet giant that Tencent is and with China’s regulators not stepping in to denounce the monopoly from WeChat, neither Alibaba nor other internet companies won’t stand a chance against Tencent.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) and Tencent are both huge companies in China that compete over almost the same services that take mobile users to offline spending, from taxi-hailing to food ordering. Besides, both companies are trying to attract their customers to mobile payments, so it’s fair to assume that whoever wins the battle for the digital wallet will have a better opportunity in the next round of this never-ending battle; and so far that winner is TenCent.
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