Rivals shaping China's tech battleground

QR codes for WeChat Pay - developed by Tencent - and Alibaba payment platform Alipay at a toy shop in Beijing. The sheer size of Tencent and Alibaba and their increasingly world-spanning ambitions have made rivalry inevitable, says the writer.
QR codes for WeChat Pay - developed by Tencent - and Alibaba payment platform Alipay at a toy shop in Beijing. The sheer size of Tencent and Alibaba and their increasingly world-spanning ambitions have made rivalry inevitable, says the writer.PHOTO: REUTERS

In early January, one of the early investors in Pinduoduo, a young Shanghai-based e-commerce firm, received a phone call from an executive at SoftBank.

The powerful Japanese group, with about US$270 billion (S$358 billion) in its various pockets, wanted to invest in the start-up.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 01, 2018, with the headline 'Rivals shaping China's tech battleground'. Subscribe