Baidu, Sina Will Launch Paid Services with the Newly Obtained Licenses

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The People’s Bank of China recently new granted third-party payment licenses to 27 non-financial institutions, including Baidu and Sina. Two Internet giants obtained the licenses via their payment sectors of Baifubao and SinaPay. The business scope of the licenses issued to the two companies, however, is limited to Internet Payment and prepaid card issuance and management.

Third-party payment license will enable the two companies to expand their businesses. Sina announced yesterday that an Alipay Wallet-like service, which needs the license, will be included in the upcoming new version of Sina Weibo apps.

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Baidu Maps recently reached partnership with DiDi Dache, one of China’s hottest taxi apps, and Dianping. An employee of Baidu disclosed that the company is also developing an Alipay Wallet-like service Baiu Purse.  (source in Chinese).

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If Baidu and Sina stepped into payment arena it might upended the industrial landscape that was dominated by Tencent’s TenPay and AliPay run by Alibaba Group. So far, users of AliPay and TenPay already hit 100 million and 200 million, respectively, much higher than tens of millions for Baifubao and millions for Sina Pay.

The turnover of China’s third-party payment market reached 12.90 trillion yuan in 2012, up 54.20 percent YOY, according to data from iResearch. AliPay and TenPay represent 50 percent and 20 percent of the market share, respectively, while the rest is shared by Chinapay.com, 99Bill, ChinaPnR, YeePay and iPs.

Edenred (China) Co., Ltd. and Shanghai Sodexo Pass Service Ltd. become the first batch of foreign companies to receive third-party payment licenses in China. Their businesses mainly focused on prepaid card issuance and management. Edenred’s main business comes from the Accor card, which has wide coverage in Jiangsu Province, Shanghai, Beijing and Sichuan Province.