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August 24, 2017

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Internet firms aim to drive O2O business

INTERNET companies are looking at new ways for offline merchants to tap China's smartphone users as a key part of their strategy to drive the online-to-offline business.

WeChat launched Mini Apps earlier this year, which allows consumers easier access to offline services, and it’s seeking to allow third party developers to offer more data analysis ability to the apps’ developers.

WeChat's Mini Apps now covers government agency services, transport, financial services, travel and dining industry.

Chen Hao, a WeChat team member, said the company is seeking to provide more app programming interface and data analytics capability to third party mini apps developers for them to better connect with WeChat users.

Koubei, the joint venture between Alibaba Group and its financial affiliate, also hopes to connect more offline merchants through a unified barcode for consumers to make easier payments and also for merchants to manage their orders and customer information.

The vice general manager of Koubei’s local lifestyle business unit, Zhang Feng, said it has introduced more than 500 developers to its platform to allow offline merchants and retailers to leverage online capabilities.

Koubei links with over 2.5 million brick-and-mortar stores.



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