Beijing-based ByteDance, the company behind TikTok, launched a mobile payments service for Douyin, which is China’s version of TikTok.

The new mobile payments service, Douyin Pay, will compete with the likes of Tencent’s WeChat Pay and Alibaba’s Alipay. “The set-up of Douyin Pay is to supplement the existing major payment options, and to ultimately enhance user experience on Douyin,” a Douyin representative told Reuters.

Douyin Pay will also help Douyin expand into the ecommerce scene. That’s because while users are watching short video clips of influencers promoting products on the Douyin app, they can pay using Douyin Pay instead of with competing payment services.

Helping to power the new payment service is Wuhan Hezhong Yibao Technology Co., which ByteDance purchased for an undisclosed amount in September of last year. Hezhong Yibao received a third-party payment license from China’s central bank in 2014.

Last fall, ByteDance achieved a valuation of $100 billion, making it the most valuable privately-held startup. In 2019, the company’s e-commerce and TikTok brands accounted for 17% of its total revenue. This figure is expected to expand this year as ByteDance taps into the potential of short-form video apps.

Another player vying for space in the Chinese payments arena is PayPal, which recently took full ownership of China-based GoPay. The move marks PayPal as the first foreign operator with 100% control of a Chinese payment platform. PayPal’s aim with the purchase is to provide a cross-border payments solution for Chinese consumers and merchants.


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