European Central Bank President Mario Draghi defended the tools that the organization has available.Europe Newsread more
According to China's top economic planning body, some local companies are cutting back on their efforts to hire new university graduates.China Economyread more
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has presided over a tumultuous recent period, which for many, has left Europe on the brink.Commentaryread more
Tensions between China and the U.S. are threatening to slow global trade further, threatening some Asian economies.Asia Economyread more
U.S. President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was transferred to a detention facility in Manhattan on Monday ahead of an expected arraignment on state...White Houseread more
Airbus recorded orders and options for 123 planes, according to the aviation consulting firm IBA.iQ.Paris Air Showread more
Markets in Asia were mostly higher on Tuesday as investors awaited the start of a closely-watched meeting by the U.S. Federal Reserve, set to kick off later stateside.Asia Marketsread more
Wall Street analysts think Facebook's cryptocurrency payments project will give the company a big boost.Marketsread more
Chinese President Xi Jinping will travel to North Korea this week for a two-day visit, ahead of a possible meeting between Xi and President Donald Trump at next week's G-20...Politicsread more
The Pentagon said that the crew of one of the tankers, the Japanese Kokuka Courageous, found an unexploded limpet mine on its hull following an initial explosion.Politicsread more
China's Alibaba Group on Tuesday said its chief financial officer, Maggie Wu, will oversee the firm's strategic acquisitions and investments unit, as part of a business and...Technologyread more
Facebook is reportedly looking to push into the payments space with its own cryptocurrency. If successful, such a move could replicate China's massively popular WeChat, but striking gold could be a tall order for the social networking giant.
The U.S. firm is developing its own digital currency, known as the Facebook Coin, which would be pegged to the U.S. dollar and allow users to transfer money through Facebook-owned messaging application WhatsApp, according to Bloomberg.
While Facebook is reportedly going to focus on the remittances market in India first, analysts said that it could be a precursor to the company stepping up its offering in payments, a move which could be a $19 billion revenue opportunity, according to Barclays.
WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in 2014 in what was the company's largest acquisition ever. Since then, it has largely focused on messaging and a few social features. It's the largest messaging service in the world with 1.5 billion monthly users.
But messaging has taken a different path in China. WeChat, which has over a billion users and is owned by Asia's largest technology firm by value, Tencent, is more than just a messaging app. It's what some analysts dub a "super-app" because it offers everything from mobile payments to the ability to book flights and even play games — all without leaving the app.
One of WeChat's most popular features is known as WeChat Pay. It allows users to purchase goods online or to pay in physical stores by displaying a sort of square barcode, known as a QR code, on their phone screen.
Facebook is attempting "to replicate some of the success that WeChat" has had, Barclays said in a note on Monday, adding that becoming "the 'WeChat Of The West' is going to be hard for WhatsApp to pull off."
"Tencent's success with WeChat can be chalked up to many structural differences between how China messaging and payments emerged. Tencent granted level-one access to investee companies like Didi, Meituan and JD.com for everyday purchases, which Whatsapp can't likely replicate, " Barclays analyst Ross Sandler wrote.
Didi is China's largest ride-hailing app, Meituan is a food delivery service and JD.com is one of the country's biggest e-commerce players.
"Further, the mobile payments ecosystem in China developed vastly different than what we see in the West and across most of WhatsApp's markets," Sandler added.
Tencent did not immediately respond to a request for comment when contacted by CNBC on Wednesday.
A Facebook representative did not respond to CNBC's inquiries about whether it is trying to replicate WeChat, noting instead that the company did not "have anything further to share" about it's broader payments effort.
"Like many other companies Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology. This new small team is exploring many different applications," the Facebook spokesperson said.
In 2018, research firm eMarketer said it expected more than 45 percent of China's population to have used mobile payments, compared with just over 20 percent in the United States. Chinese consumers largely skipped credit cards and have adopted WeChat pay and rival Alipay, which is owned by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial.
Not only does WeChat offer payments, but it also has other financial services like wealth management and micro-loans. Facebook's payments push may not be as ambitious.
"The potential monetization for Facebook Coin may not be as diverse as WeChat Pay," Choi Chun, senior analyst at China-based market research firm iResearch, told CNBC.
"A large chunk of WeChat Pay revenues are generated from commission dollars from online shopping within WeChat and wealth management services, which I don't think Facebook would be able to tap into as the online shopping sector and wealth management sector are already mature in the U.S," Chun added.
Facebook will also come up against stiff competition in markets where WhatsApp is popular. In India, for example, Ant-Financial-backed Paytm is one of the most dominant players.
The U.S. technology giant will also have to convince users to trust it with money — something that could be difficult following the privacy scandals of 2018.
"I think Facebook Coin has a disadvantage in that the company still has a relationship of mistrust with many users, a hangover from the scandal of 2018. Trust is crucial to platform scalability and the success of new features," said Neil Campling, head of technology, media and telecommunications research at Mirabaud Securities.