Signs indicating the available electronic payment methods in a store in China : Alipay, WeChat pay, Western Union card, and Apple pay. Photo: iStock

Chinese Internet giants Tencent and Alibaba have both successfully penetrated the public transportation systems in different cities with their digital payment methods, WeChat Pay and Alipay, Yicai.com reported.

So far, people in 46 cities can take a bus by scanning the “bus ride code” developed by Tencent using its WeChat Pay app. However, Alipay’s code is supported in more than 50 cities.

As for rail transportation, Tencent secured cooperation with the Guangzhou Metro to promote its “subway ride code.” While Alipay has access to the subway in Hangzhou and Xi’an.

The competition between the two giants to boost the use of digital wallets has never stopped. Both have tried to dominate the field in payment scenarios that vary from bike-sharing, to ride-hailing and public transport.

According to the Ministry of Transportation, the monthly usage frequency of buses and subways was 7.2 billion trips in 2016.

Compared to the figures of bike-sharing and ride-hailing, which were 1.8 billion and 600 million trips respectively, the war to conquer city public transport is much more fierce.

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