AliPay and WeChat Added as New Payment Methods on Battle.net
In another update for players on Asian realms, it appears that Blizzard has added AliPay and WeChat as additional payment methods. The two most common payment methods for Chinese players, these new options now appear when making purchases through the Battle.net shop in other regions outside of China as well.
WeChat is a Chinese instant messaging, social media, and mobile payment app developed by Tencent. First released in 2011, it became the world's largest standalone mobile app in 2018, with over 1 billion monthly active users.
Alipay is a Chinese mobile and online payment platform developed by Alibaba Group in 2004. It overtook PayPal as the world's largest digital mobile payment platform in 2013, currently serving over 1.3 billion users and 80 million merchants.
The two are immensely popular in China due to their ease of use, enjoying support for all Chinese banking institutions and local stores, including online shopping platform Taobao (essentially their Amazon). Much in the same way that PayPal is popular in the west, the two are very convenient for transferring money and making purchases without giving out credit or debit card information directly, and it can be assumed that these options are being added to help service the influx of Chinese players migrating to other regions in the wake of the news that
Blizzard would be suspending services in China
on January 23rd.
Interestingly, the options do not yet appear to be available in all regions, though presumably they will roll out further over time.
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