What happened: Tencent has launched an automated payment system under its WeChat Pay operation for car parks across China. The system has been implemented in more than 1,000 parking lots nationwide in major shopping malls, railway stations, and airports. A company executive says the system will be expanded to parking sites in schools and popular tourist destinations. Users are required to register their plate numbers under their WeChat accounts. Their plates are then scanned at the exit of parking lots and matched with the company’s database of WeChat Pay users.
Why it’s important: The launch of the automated payment system for cars parks comes as Chinese tech giants try to transform transportation services with technology. Alipay and WeChat Pay have already split China’s mobile payments for metro transportation into a duopoly. The next frontier is car parking. In August, Alipay rolled out a shared parking service in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou that allows users to find, reserve, and pay for parking via the Alipay app.