(Yicai Global) May 21 -- Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. and French retail tycoon Carrefour SA have kicked off operations at their first smart grocery store with facial recognition payment, part of efforts to beat rivals in the country's New Retail and mobile payments market.
Le Marche, which opened in Shanghai yesterday, features Tencent's all-in-one facial cashier that is equipped with a high-performance processing platform and a 3D camera, ensuring smooth and secure payment, reported online news outlet Jiemian.
The initial agreement on cooperation was announced in January when Tencent was planning together with Chinese retailer Yonghui Superstores Co. to buy stakes in Carrefour's China unit to develop smart retail initiatives. New Retail, a phrase coined by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Jack Ma in 2016, describes the seamless engagement in retail between online and offline infrastructure through the use of smart technologies.
Le Marche will offer some discount coupons to customers based on advertising on Tencent's social media platform WeChat. The store also has exclusive sections related to Tencent's variety shows and animations, catering to the fans, reported Jiemian.
The number of monthly active WeChat users has grown to 1 billion, up 11 percent since last year, reported Tencent's first quarter financial report released on May 17. The report said the firm has seen notable progress in the areas of mobile payment and smart retail. WeChat Pay is more popular than Alibaba's Alipay in offline payment, though the latter is bigger in overall transaction volume, reported Reuters.
Editors: Emmi Laine, William Clegg