Chinese Web giant Baidu launches mobile wallet
17 April 2014 | 5828 views | 0
Search engine provider Baidu has become the latest Chinese Web firm to move into the mobile money arena, launching a payments and wealth management wallet.
In a country with more than 500 million smartphones mobile payment transactions hit $1.6 trillion last year, according to government figures.
Web outfits Tencent and Alibaba both launched mobile wallets last year, joining banks and telcos vying for a chunk of the market.
Alibaba has traditionally led the way in online payments in China through its Alipay arm but Tencent is viewed as well placed to take advantage of the mobile rush thanks to its WeChat messenger service.
Baidu has now entered the fray with a wallet that lets customers make person-to-person money transfers and retail purchases at merchants that accept its Baifubao third-party payment tool. Users also get access to wealth management services.
While the move by Internet firms into financial services has proved hugely popular with consumers, it has also recently attracted the attention of China's central bank, which last month banned virtual credit cards launched by Alibaba and Tencent.