WeChat, or Weixin, unveiled a solution named WeChat Smart Life today. We’ve long heard that WeChat has been developing solutions in order to be the hub of people’s lives or even the Internet of Things. But the announcement today looks more like a response to what Alibaba announced yesterday.

WeChat want eight categories of businesses or services to adopt the solution to build sophisticated features onto their WeChat public accounts, providing services to customers directly or manage customers.

Alipay Wallet, starting from a mobile payment service, now has all kinds of mobile features. It also has a platform similar to WeChat’s public account platform. So the eight categories, as shown below, will be the businesses the two Chinese Internet giants fight for.

  1. Restaurant. Ordering food, taking payments or calling waiters/waitress through WeChat.
  2. Hotel. Booking and choosing rooms, making payments, direct communications with receptionists, digital keys, and shopping in hotel rooms.
  3. Ticketing for public transport. Creating digital tickets, buying or reserving tickets, choosing seats, and CRM services.
  4. School. Paying tuition and fees, managing students and classes, and digital ID passes.
  5. Hospital. Scheduling appointments with doctors, tracking queues, digital prescriptions or reports.
  6. Brick-and-mortar store. Issuing digital membership cards and managing members, taking payments, and CRM & interactive marketing.
  7. Delivery. Making orders, taking payments and tracking parcels.
  8. Tourism. Buying tickets, WiFi hotspots, real-time notifications from tourist attractions, and customized CRM services.

Alipay has tapped into hospital, e-ticketing for public transport, school tuition fee payments, offline stores, among others.

WeChat reported 438 million active monthly users as of the second quarter this year, a 57% year-over-year increase.

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

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