China continues to crackdown on its biggest companies and a prompt number of changes are emerging from companies involved. Tencent and Alibaba are the biggest players in China and have continued to grow and segregate their eco systems from one another. Alipay from Alibaba for instance has a dedicated set of services that exclusively makes use of their payment system including shopping, video streaming and more. You might not think much of this as a number of equivalent apps exist on Tencent’s side but when you go into a supermarket (Alibaba owned) and are unable to pay without anything other than Alipay, it becomes more than a nuisance.
The latest monopoly crackdown now pushes companies to breakdown their payment walls and allow customers to pay with other options. Both companies have numerous methods to push users towards living in their exclusive ecosystem but this is all set to change. Censorship of linked content that led to competing sites are also set to be removed as companies will allow links within their apps. Finding a common ground in the evolving scope of regulation is a challenge that both companies will have to navigate through and users can expect a positive change in the long term.
Whether these changes will open up new opportunities for new players in the future remains to be seen and the existing monopoly will gradually level out it seems. It would appear that such measures were initially required to survive and grow into the behemoth sized companies they are today. But now is the time for changes to relax measures on both sides and those who do not comply will likely see a quick slide into destruction as regulation issued by the government is not to be taken lightly.