What happened: Tencent is eyeing the increasingly saturated payment market in India with a UPI-based (Unified Payments Interface) WeChat Pay app. Tencent executives met with the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) to discuss obtaining a license, according to Indian internet media Entrackr. The Chinese tech giant is reportedly planning to launch the payment service as early as May or June.
Why it’s important: The UPI payment system’s monthly transaction volume on average exceeds Rs. 1 trillion ($14.47 billion) over the past three months, according to NPCI statistics. While WeChat Pay holds a dominant market share in China, it will be up against tough rivals in India such as the government-owned BHIM, Alibaba-backed Paytm, and Google Pay. Last week, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi also announced its entry to India’s payment market with UPI-based app Mi Pay. However, Tencent could leverage its popular mobile game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) to gain an edge over its competitors in India by enabling in-app purchase via WeChat Pay.