Alibaba pilots messaging app for small businesses

Alibaba pilots messaging app for small businesses

19 JAN 2015

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group began trialling a business-focused mobile messaging app called DingTalk in December, Reuters has reported.

Users can conduct conference calls and group messaging via the app, which is targeted towards small and medium-sized enterprises. With 8.5 million active sellers on its platforms, many such businesses are already Alibaba clients.

Alibaba’s earlier attempt at a messaging app called Laiwang was considered a failure by many experts, while rival Tencent’s WeChat /Weixin has been hugely successful (it had 438 million monthly active users in August last year).

However, by targeting a specific segment, Alibaba hopes to “fill a gap in the market for corporate mobile messaging”, according to a representative.

The company has still not revealed how it expects to generate revenue from the app or when a full launch is planned, as the app is still in beta testing.

Alibaba has been investing heavily in the mobile space: last year, it invested $215 million in mobile messaging app Tango. It previously looked to bolster its share in mapping company AutoNavi and invested in the Sina Weibo microblogging service.


Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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