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Online vendors promote the digital wallet in China

In the battle for third-party payment users, fees may loom large in artillery.

Internet giant Tencent recently stirred heated debate among netizens by slapping a commission charge on users who transfer CNY1,000 (USD154) or more from their WeChat "pocket money" to debit cards. The commission amounts to 0.1 percent of the transfer amount once it exceeds the CNY1,000 life-time free allowance.

Online reaction to the new fee drew comparisons with Tencent archrival Alibaba, whose affiliate Zhejiang Ant Small Financial Services Group operates the popular online payment service Alipay.

In 2013, Alipay started to charge commissions on transfers between Alipay accounts for users on desktop computers. The rate ranges from 0.15 percent to 0.2 percent. Transfers from smartphone users’ Alipay balance accounts to debit cards remain free.