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August 21, 2014

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Settling utility fees via WeChat

TENCENT is offering an online payment service for utility fees in Shanghai via its WeChat smartphone chatting tool by teaming up with Shanghai Fufeitong Information Technology as it further diversifies from online gaming and shopping.

Shanghai residents can pay for their water, electricity and gas bills through a service account on WeChat, Tencent said yesterday. There are over 5 million public accounts and service accounts on WeChat.

A trial version of the Fufeitong service was launched last week and has attracted more than 11,000 subscribers and completed over 1,000 payments, Fufeitong officials said.

The tie-up with Tencent came after Fufeitong halted its five-year collaboration with Alipay last month to avoid the recurring traffic jam and server breakdown of its bill processing system and payment platform caused directly by the high-frequency bill inquiries from AliPay.

Fufeitong now handles payments worth about 10 billion yuan (US$1.6 billion) on average each year.

Tencent has been offering services, including payment and online gaming, via WeChat to catch up with Alibaba and Baidu in online transactions.



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