Alipay Wallet, the mobile app by Alipay, announced a new version today that has added a WeChat Official Account-like feature. It’s open to businesses including banks and telecom operators. Ten banks, the three Chinese telcos and McCafe of McDonald’s have joined it, according to Alipay.

Users who subscribe to those official accounts can check your bank balance or change smartphone data plans.

It’s obvious that it’s inspired by WeChat Official Accounts. Average WeChat Official Accounts are able to send text/voice messages to their followers or interact with them. The payment capability that came along with WeChat 5.0 makes doing business directly through WeChat possible. Some Chinese financial institutions, airlines, telcos, media, public organizations and other businesses or organizations, with help from WeChat team like special APIs, have turned their official accounts into powerful applications.

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Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com