Briefing: Tencent partner opens new offline digital retail site in Beijing
Sep 30, 2018
InHeavy Hitters, Turf Wars
What happened: Tencent-invested online shopping solution provider Dmall.com opened an offline retail store with local supermarket Wumart (物美). The new site allows digital smartphone self-service WeChat payment to up to 15 items, and also supports store-to-home delivery. Dmall launched a mini program in July on WeChat. Monthly active user for the program for the first month of launch surpassed 1 million. Dmall confirmed an undisclosed strategic investment injected by Tencent in August.
Why it’s important: This further clarifies Tencent’s intention and strategy in the new retail field. While Alibaba leverages its own commerce system, Tencent is more inclined to transfer WeChat to an information, social, and business connection platform for retail, connecting dispersed consumers and physical retail stores. It’s hard to say the model will finally allow Tencent to take over Alibaba’s dominant position, but China’s retail landscape is having more models to diversify competition fields and profitability channels.