Alipay, the online payment solution operated by Alibaba’s finance arm, announced yesterday it would resume supporting Mogujie, one of the leading social shopping services in China. One year ago, Alipay cut off support to Mogujie when the latter added a system for online retailers behind shared items to sell goods directly to users.

Founded in 2011, Mogujie started as a Pinterest-like social shopping service, earning commissions on referral traffic to e-commerce sites. But in China, the majority of online retailers are on Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall marketplace. So most items shared onto Mogujie are from Alibaba and the referral revenues from Alimama, Alibaba’s referral program. That means what they can make is just a fraction of what Taobao or Tmall e-tailers pay for the Alibaba program.

Also, Alibaba didn’t seem happy to see consumers visit social shopping sites browsing goods instead of going to Taobao or Tmall directly when a wave of such sites emerged in China. It was rumored that Alibaba even charged those sites a technical fee for displaying items from its marketplace in 2012.

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Tracey Xiang

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