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Alibaba and Tencent Collaborate: Breaking Digital Barriers

Updated: Jan 9

Alibaba and Tencent, China's two largest internet companies, have announced further collaboration to enhance user experience.

Tencent Alibaba
Credits: Bloomberg

Users who click on certain advertisements on Tencent's WeChat Channels will now be directly redirected to Alibaba's Taobao and Tmall e-commerce platforms.

This move comes as both companies face economic uncertainty and increased competition from rivals like Douyin.

The partnership allows "high-quality" advertisements placed on WeChat Channels, a short-video sharing platform, through Alibaba's digital marketing platform, Alimama Uni Desk, to connect with shops and live-streaming rooms on Taobao and Tmall. Previously, WeChat Moments and mini-programs already supported advertisements linking to Alibaba's online shopping sites and Tencent Video allowed direct links to Taobao since 2021.

Alibaba and Tencent will also collaborate during the upcoming Singles' Day shopping festival, investing millions of yuan in subsidies and jointly boosting traffic. This event is the largest annual online retail event in China.

In recent years, Alibaba and Tencent have been breaking down the virtual walls that separated their services. This shift began in 2021 when the Chinese government intensified efforts to dismantle tech monopolies. Tencent, which previously limited the sharing of links to Alibaba stores on WeChat, now allows users to open various links and content within its messaging function.

However, some digital barriers still exist. For example, users cannot use WeChat Pay for transactions on Taobao, nor can they use Alipay, the electronic payments service of Alibaba's affiliate Ant Group, to pay for goods and services on WeChat mini-programs.

Both Alibaba and Tencent are navigating a slowing economy. China experienced a drop in consumer prices in July, the first in over two years, prompting the government to take measures to combat deflationary pressure and avoid economic stagnation. The uneven post-Covid-reopening economic recovery is evident in the 1.7% drop in food prices in August, compared to a 1.3% rise in services prices.

Amidst macroeconomic uncertainty and competition from younger rivals like Douyin, Alibaba and Tencent have deepened their partnerships. In July, Taobao and Tencent's popular mobile game, Honour of Kings, announced an invitation-only competition, with the finals broadcasted on Taobao Live.

  • Alibaba and Tencent have strengthened their collaboration, allowing users to be redirected from WeChat Channels to Taobao and Tmall.

  • "High-quality" advertisements on WeChat Channels can now connect with shops and live-streaming rooms on Alibaba's platforms.

  • The partnership will extend to the Singles' Day shopping festival, with both companies investing in subsidies and traffic boosting.

Source: SCMP

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