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Thanks to China’s internet crackdown, Alibaba is finally on Tencent’s WeChat

Written by Song Jingli Published on     1 min read

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The walls of China’s tech gardens are slowly being torn down.

Alibaba’s Hema Jishi community group-buying mini program has gone live on WeChat, in a rare move to leverage its rival Tencent’s ecosystem.

There is no standalone app for the service and the mini program is not yet available for Beijing residents, but it is live elsewhere, like in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan Province, and Jinan in Shandong Province, KrASIA found on Monday. Pinduoduo, Didi Chuxing, Meituan, and JD.com—all of which count Tencent as an investor—have launched their own group-buying mini programs on WeChat, allowing users to order fresh produce online and pick up the orders in person the next day.

Alibaba’s move comes after an anti-monopoly crackdown on major tech companies, which was marked by a record RMB 18.2 billion (USD 2.8 billion) fine for the company founded by Jack Ma. Regulators also asked 34 tech companies to self-rectify their anti-competitive practices.

“It will take time to see how Tencent treats Hema Jishi,” Liu Xu, a researcher with the National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University, told KrASIA on Monday. “It is hard to tell what the tech giant will do in its next move.”

Alibaba has not yet managed to put its Taobao Tejiaban mini program, which is also known as Taobao Deals, onto WeChat, despite months of effort. WeChat still bans users from sharing Taobao links directly on the platform.

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