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Chinese smartphone brands team up to fight WeChat dominance

  • Gao Yuan

    Bloomberg

Beijing, China   /   Wed, March 21, 2018   /   12:45 pm
Chinese smartphone brands team up to fight WeChat dominance WeChat has become China's most popular mobile social media platform. (AFP/File photo)

China’s biggest smartphone vendors are getting together for a software platform offering access to apps that can provide an alternative for WeChat’s more than 1 billion users.

Huawei Technologies Co., Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi Corp. are teaming with six smaller brands for Quick App, which lets users access a range of services including mobile payments. That’s a direct challenge to the mini programs of WeChat, owned by Tencent Holdings Ltd., which lets users order food and rent bikes without ever leaving the app.

WeChat, which is available on all the major operating systems, is nearly ubiquitous in China as people use their smartphone to buy food, pay bills and send money to friends. Mini programs has further entrenched the app by making it a one-stop shop for daily essentials and helping Tencent capture more of the revenue spent by consumers.

The vendors will each have equal status in the alliance, which is designed to improve efficiency for both smartphone users and app developers, said Kaylene Hong, a spokeswoman for Xiaomi.