Daily Management Review

Chinese Tencent to expand presence in the US


Tencent is stepping up its efforts to expand the payment service WeChat Pay in the US, reports CNBC. He noted that more large players will come to the market this year.

ChrisYunker via flickr
ChrisYunker via flickr
WeChat Pay allows users to display barcodes on the smartphone via the Tencent-owned WeChat messaging application. The app scans the barcode, allowing the user to pay for goods or service via a bank account in China. WeChat has more than 1 billion users, 80% of whom use the WeChat Pay function.

Tencent is aiming at expanding payment services abroad, without trying to create a local version of WeChat for other countries. Instead, the company has focused on registering sellers from other countries that accept WeChat Pay. Thus, Chinese tourists will be able to use the payment platform abroad. The company intends to announce that many stores in the US will accept payment with WeChat Pay this year.

"The US is also the market on which we are now focused... After July you will see that many outlets will accept WeChat Pay in the US," said the director for cross-border transactions in WeChat Pay Yin Jie. "In fact, now they are already accepting WeChat Pay... at the airport and in some duty-free shop ... because it is really a big country and it has a lot of sellers, and we need to do this step by step," she added.

Last year, Tencent partnered with Citcon, a mobile payment platform based in the US, to launch WeChat Pay in the United States. But the project has not yet joined any major trading network.

According to Jie, now the company is selecting suppliers of goods and services from the US that are popular among Chinese customers.

"At the first stage, we will choose some stores that Chinese tourists prefer, and duty-free shops. We will select several well-known restaurants, then we will try to add other outlets to the project, in addition, we will involve taxi service companies, for example", - told the company’s representative.

Tencent is expanding its presence in the US market while Chinese technology companies are caught in the crossfire during the "trade war" between the US and China. For example, American companies were prohibited from selling the products of the telecommunications company ZTE. The ban was lifted, but the Chinese manufacturer suffered losses.

WeChat is not a hardware product, but the current tension between the US and China could potentially complicate relations with stores that may be afraid to work with the new platform. However, it does not bother the Chinese technology giant: the company's representatives said that they simply offer American manufacturers to attract the attention of Chinese tourists to their brands.

"WeChat Pay is just a payment product, so if a Chinese tourist wants to use it and the seller is ready to accept, I think we will have a market," Jie said.

source: cnbc.com