Eyeing the stirring success of Tencent’s WeChat, Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce mogul, is striving to catch up with the launch of a new app dubbed Wangxin. In a nutshell, you can take it as the original AliWangwang (the company’s IM client) mobile app now equipped with LBS-enabled stranger social networking.

screenshot of Wangxin

Wangxin doesn’t start from scratch, it’s built atop of Wangwang’s more than 300 million  registered users, namely, China’s highly active online buyers and sellers. Signing in with your AliWangwang account and you’ll find all your connections there.

Just like WeChat or other Kik-like services, you can send text/audio messages to your contacts; you get to check out nearby Wangxin users and initiate a conversation at your will with the benefit of location awareness.

Don’t, though, read too much into the app or expect it to be a big step forward in Alibaba’s mobile social networking strategy, the failure of Taojianghu might still hang over the Hangzhou-based company’s mind as a nightmare. Alibaba’s efforts in socializing its ecommerce platform haven’t really pulled off yet, a slight touch of location-based service and free audio message transmission wouldn’t help too much to bring out a success.