Alibaba, China’s leading e-commerce firm, has introduced a new feature in its Alipay Wallet mobile e-wallet app that lets users hail taxis on Kuaidi Dache, the Hangzhou-based on-demand transportation app.
The feature, which was first spotted by Marbridge Daily, is accessible when users press the “Explore” tab in the Alipay Wallet app’s dock. At the bottom, a bar bearing a yellow taxi icon appears. Pressing the bar lets users input their location, intended destination, and call for a cab.
Alipay Wallet previously included a feature that let users pay for cabs hailed on Kuaidi Dache’s standalone app. Recently, however, that put Alibaba a few steps behind rival firm Tencent, which introduced taxi booking and payment through its behemoth WeChat messaging app.
Alibaba has lately directed its strategy towards developing its mobile ecosystem. In addition to promoting a new gaming branch and a messaging app – two relatively new spaces for the e-commerce company – it’s souped up Alipay Wallet in an effort to make it the center of Chinese consumers’ financial lives, from storing away life savings to buying a bag of chips. The e-wallet app now supports offline purchases in over 8,000 convenience stores across China, and lets consumers put their savings in its in-house investment fund Yu’ebao, which at 250 billion yuan ($41 billion) in assets has become the country’s largest investment fund of its kind.
(Top image via Flickr user mikechu)
(Editing by Paul Bischoff)