What happened: WeChat Pay users in Hong Kong may soon be able to make purchases on the mainland. Tencent’s WeChat Pay HK service was previously only available for use in the city as the two payment systems—one on the mainland and one in Hong Kong—are not interoperable. However, according to sources, an update to this system is set to be announced today (September 26).
Why it’s important: Both Tencent and Alibaba are pushing outside of mainland China to gain additional users. While this has previously focused on allowing Chinese tourists to pay abroad, WeChat has launched a localized version for Hong Kong and more recently, for Malaysia. It will be interesting to see if Alipay follows suit. The company has previously mentioned its desire to offer a similar solution.