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China's Baidu launches mobile payment app

People talk in front of a Baidu's company logo at Baidu's headquarters in Beijing January 16, 2014. REUTERS/Jason Lee
People talk in front of a Baidu's company logo at Baidu's headquarters in Beijing January 16, 2014. REUTERS/Jason Lee

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Baidu Inc, China's leading internet search provider, has launched a mobile payment and wealth management platform after its main domestic rivals launched similar products.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, through its mobile payment arm, Alipay, launched Alipay Wallet in January 2013, which included a money-market investment product, Yu'e Bao, marketed as a high-yielding substitute for traditional bank deposits.

Tencent followed in August with WeChat Payment, a payment and investment platform linked to its popular WeChat mobile messaging app.

Baidu offers a variety of wealth management products, but the new Baidu Wallet app will add a mobile payment function, giving its investors more options for the use of funds.

Traditional banks, fearing the outflow of low-cost deposit funding into online money-market products, have also started rolling out their own money-market products in recent months.

(Reporting by Gabriel Wildau; Editing by Miral Fahmy)

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