Sep 04, 2020 05:21 PM

ByteDance Founder Buys Way Into Online Payments

What’s new: The boss of internet giant ByteDance Ltd. has gained a much sought-after payment license by taking over all the shares of an online payment firm, public business records (link in Chinese) showed in late August.

The online payment company named Wuhan Hezhong Epro Technology Co. Ltd., formerly owned by a Beijing company, is now wholly controlled by a Tianjin-based e-commerce company owned by ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming.

Zhang has been mired in trouble over the past weeks, as the U.S. government has urged ByteDance to sell the U.S. operations of its short video app TikTok.

What’s the background: Founded in 2012, the Wuhan-based firm obtained an online payment license (link in Chinese) from China’s central bank in 2014. It mainly provides payment tools for e-commerce and internet finance, among other industries.

In recent years, China’s internet and tech giants have been looking to expand their business in financial services, ranging from payments to online lending, to generate more revenue and profit as growth in their core businesses slows.

In the mobile payment sector, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Alipay and Tencent Holding Ltd.’s WeChat Pay have built up an unassailable lead. The two largest Chinese online mobile payment providers held over 90% of the third-party mobile payment market in recent years, according to (link in Chinese) Chinese data analysis firm Analysys.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.

Related: In Depth: Trump’s WeChat, TikTok Ban Orders Upset Markets, Breed Confusion

In Depth: Upstart ByteDance Takes On China’s Internet Goliaths

Contact editor Heather Mowbray (

Support quality journalism in China. Subscribe to Caixin Global starting at $0.99.

You've accessed an article available only to subscribers
Share this article
Open WeChat and scan the QR code