Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. , world’s largest e-commerce company is looking for developing a social messaging application that will implement business with messaging, an Alibaba spokesman confirmed on Friday.
The app, called DingTalk, was quietly made available in December and is still in beta testing, according to its website.
Capable of carrying conference calls and group messaging, DingTalk targets small- and medium-sized enterprises, many of which are already Alibaba’s customers. The company has 8.5 million active sellers on its various e-commerce platforms, according to Alibaba’s initial public offering prospectus.
It is not Alibaba’s first stab at a mobile messaging app and others have become hot property in the tech sector. The company’s arch-rival, Tencent Holdings Ltd, operates WeChat, known as Weixin in China, which has 468 million monthly active users and was estimated to be worth as much as $64 billion by brokerage CLSA.
“DingTalk is a versatile mobile communications app that fills a gap in the market for corporate mobile messaging,” the Alibaba spokeswoman said.
Since 2009 Alibaba’s cloud unit, also known as Aliyun, has accumulated more than 1.4 million customers, according to Alibaba’s IPO prospectus.
Alibaba declined comment on when DingTalk will be fully launched or how it will generate revenue.