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Sina Weibo, Alibaba partner on payments


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Richard Handford

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Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo has developed a new payment feature with Alipay, the online payment platform of e-commerce giant Alibaba.

The new Weibo Payment feature has been added to iOS versions of the Sina Weibo app, meaning users can complete transactions from within the app.

The app already featured access to Alibaba’s Taobao shopping site, available since last year when the two companies struck a partnership that involved Alibaba buying a stake in Sina Weibo.

Eventually, it will be possible to also make purchases from third-party sites not just Taobao.

Previously, the microblogging platform used Sina’s own WeiboPay feature but this has been dropped in favour of the more popular Alipay system.

The new feature is designed to make payments easier for Sina Weibo users. For instance, if a user shares an item from one of Alibaba’s e-commerce sites with their followers then a “buy” button automatically appears that connects to Alipay.

In terms of offline payments, if a user scans a QR code in a shop using the updated version of the Sina Weibo app, they are automatically given the option of following the merchant.

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