First launched in 2012 Chinese internet company Sina’s online payment platform Weibo Qianbao (referred to as WeiboPay in English – literally: Weibo Wallet). WeiboPay is China’s first socially enabled online wallet: all users of Sina’s Weibo microblogging platform automatically have WeiboPay accounts in order to provide a more convenient way for Weibo users to conduct business online, and for developers to charge users for their products and services. The app gave users the ability to make payments, pay mobile handset bills, and make transfers to and from bank accounts. WeiboPay transactions were processed by Sina’s own payment license.
In early 2014 Sina released an update for its Sina Weibo microblogging mobile app, adding the Payment feature “Weibo Payment” to user home pages on the app. By linking Sina Weibo accounts with China’s leading eCommerce site Taobao (and third-party payment processor Alipay), the new feature allowed users to browse goods and complete payment directly within the Sina Weibo mobile app. In contrast to the initial use of Sina’s own payment license under WeiboPay, the new feature dropped WeiboPay, opting instead to work with the more popular Alipay payment platform.
Earlier this month, Weibo has announced to open up its Weibo Payment (co-developed by Weibo.com and Alipay) for third parties including enterprises and individuals. With Weibo Payment integrated, third parties will be able to streamline their payment process on Weibo for a better user experience and higher conversion rates, as users will no longer need to switch between shopping and payment websites or apps in order to complete their transactions. According to Sina Tech news, Weibo Payment is expected to increase conversion rates three to four times as compared to redirecting users to another website or app for payment.