National Business Daily, 1/07/14
Chinese internet company Sina (Nasdaq: SINA) released an update to the mobile client version of its Sina Weibo microblogging platform yesterday, adding a new "Weibo Payment" ("Weibo Zhifu") feature to user home pages on the app. By linking Sina Weibo accounts with e-commerce site Taobao and third-party payment processor Alipay, the new feature allows users to browse goods and complete payment directly within the Sina Weibo mobile app.
Sina has previously added a "WeiboPay" ("Weibo Qianbao") payment tool to the mobile app, giving users the ability to make payments, pay mobile handset bills, and make transfers to and from bank accounts. The "WeiboPay" platform operates using Sina's own payment license. In contrast, the new "Weibo Payment" feature has dropped WeiboPay, opting instead to work with the more popular Alipay payment platform.
According to Sina, users of Sina's microblog platform will eventually be able to use "Weibo Payment" not only to complete purchases of Taobao products, but also to shop for merchandise marketed by third-party merchants via their respective microblog accounts.
Editor's Note: For more background on this topic, please see "Online Payment Platform SinaPay Updates to WeiboPay" MD 12/08/12 issue, and "Update: Alibaba Takes 18% Stake in Sina Microblog" MD 4/29/13 issue.