Popular Chinese internet service provider Tencent, owner of dominant chat app WeChat, is set to launch the first ever online trading portal to run through a mobile chat application. The company’s online trading system, if successful, will revolutionize the way investors across the world choose to invest.
Tencent’s online trading system is in the final stages of testing and will be rolled out soon. The platform will feature a facial recognition feature that verifies user identities before allowing them to access their stocks. The facial recognition features through smart phones are a first of its kind anywhere in the world.
According to Tencent, its 650 million users will purchase stocks through mobile chat service WeChat’s e-wallet function. Already, the e-wallet function facilitates money transfers, cinema tickets purchasing, transport tickets, financial products investment and other related functions.
These features are a cut above the rest of the world’s mobile messaging platforms. Facebook’s very own, Watsapp, far behind Tencent with 500 million users, does not feature any of these functions, having only allowed mobile video chat in foreign countries recently.
According to Tencent, users will be able to access these services by first registering directly on their service and uploading a number of documents to authenticate their identities. The users will then scan their faces as a final security check before accessing the online trading services.
The system has caused a stir among global trading enthusiasts for its relieving convenience. Previously, investors had to go to their brokerage firms in person to place an order or video chat with the firms to confirm their identities.
Now all they will have to do is open an account with Tencent, or with rival online firm Alibaba.
Alibaba, China’s giant online selling company, through its payment platform Alipay, is introducing a similar online stock buying feature. The company announced the new feature last month but is yet to activate it. Currently, the feature can only be used to track indexes.
These recent service launches are just a drop in the bucket of how far Chinese tech innovation and appetite has grown in recent years. Beijing based Lenovo bought out IBM’s PC business in 2005 on its way to becoming the largest PC maker, beating the previous record holder, U.S. based HP, by number of units sold. Lenovo also bought out Google’s loss making Motorola unit, becoming the third largest smartphone maker by market share, only behind Apple and Samsung.
Another Chinese firm making big plays is Huawei. Already the second largest telecoms network provider in the world, it recently launched its P8 smart phone that’s set to compete with Apple for a piece of the premium smartphone market.
Chinese tech companies are growing fast and aggressively, eclipsing U.S. companies across mobile and PC innovation. So get ready - it’s only a matter of time before China’s tech companies become a common feature in every American home.