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.
There have been three big players, Alibaba, Tencent and YY, building online education marketplaces. The fight for good teachers or quality courses will come sooner or later. All of those platforms must be building services in order to attract contributors. Recently YY launched a newly designed site 100.com, offering more educational content or services than video courses its YY Education only offers. Alibaba’s Taobao Tongxue, an online course marketplace launched earlier than Tencent’s QQ Group course function, wants to gather Taobao retailers who have already been selling courses or educational services on Taobao.
QQ Group has been hugely popular in China and used by various organizations, including educational services, to engage their audiences. The payment function must be convenient for them whenever they want to charge group members for any services, too.