BEIJING (Reuters) – Beijing-based ByteDance launched its third-party payment service for the Chinese version of its short hit TikTok video app, “Douyin Pay,” on Tuesday as it pushes to expand into the e-business. -commerce in China.
“Douyin Pay’s setup is to integrate existing major payment options and ultimately improve the user experience on Douyin,” Douyin said in a statement.
Douyin users, who amassed 600 million daily active users, could previously use Ant Group’s Alipay and Tencent Holdings’ WeChat Pay, the country’s two ubiquitous third-party mobile payment channels, to purchase virtual gifts for livestreamers. or objects from shops on the platform.
ByteDance founder and CEO Zhang Yiming strengthened the company’s payment capacity in China by acquiring Wuhan Hezhong Yibao Technology Co last year. Hezhong Yibao has obtained a third-party payment license from central bank in 2014.
ByteDance was ordered by the outgoing Trump administration to divest TikTok’s US assets for national security concerns.
The company, which denies the allegation, has been in talks with Walmart Inc and Oracle Corp for months to transfer those assets into a new entity.
Douyin is the main revenue generator for ByteDance. It provides a glimpse of what TikTok could possibly become, as Douyin started selling goods in 2017 and now runs a growing e-commerce operation where hundreds of millions of users shop on a daily basis.
ByteDance’s expansion comes as Chinese financial regulators are tightening oversight over financial technology companies, particularly companies like Ant Group.
China’s third-party payments industry is dominated by Alipay and WeChat Pay, with the former capturing 55.39% of the total market in the second quarter of last year, according to market researcher Analysys. Other players include JD.com’s JD Pay, Baidu Wallet, and Meituan Pay.
Reportage by Yingzhi Yang in Beijing and Brenda Goh in Shanghai