QQ IM, Tencent’s flagship product, has added online payment capability to group chat. QQ Group owners now are able to take payments from group members directly through Tencent’s online payment service Tenpay.

After creating an entry with an amount, a group owner can share it in his or her chat group; group members will be directed to Tenpay after clicking open the message.

The payment function must be useful for splitting bills among group members. But it’s more likely that it’s created for the online course function that was released in November 2013. The QQ Group-based online course function enables teachers, group owners, to give live video courses to students, group members. Before the availability of in-group payments, teachers needed to use Alibaba’s Alipay or other third-party payments services.

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Tracey Xiang

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