Alibaba, Tencent Consider Opening Services to Each Other: WSJ

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. are considering making their services available on the other’s platforms, the Wall Street Journal reported, sending Alibaba’s U.S.-traded shares higher in early trading.

Such a move would allow customers to pay for items on Alibaba’s e-commerce marketplaces -- Taobao and Tmall -- with Tencent’s WeChat Pay, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the discussions. It would also give the companies more insight into each other’s business, according to the report.

The reported talks come amid a crackdown by Beijing that aims to loosen the control held by China’s biggest internet companies and spur more competition. Alibaba was fined a record $2.8 billion in April for abusing its market dominance and Tencent was one of 34 of the country’s largest companies that was ordered to rectify anti-competitive practices.

Alibaba’s American Depositary receipts rose 3.8% in premarket trading in New York.

China’s internet has largely been split into two camps, with Alibaba and its financial affiliate Ant Group Co. on one side and Tencent and its many partner companies, such as e-commerce groups JD.com Inc., Meituan and Pinduoduo Inc. on the other, with little ability to use services across the two empires.

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