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Above: Customers queue to pay as they shop at a Carrefour supermarket in Wuhan, Hubei province on December 3, 2011.

上图:2011年12月3日,在湖北武汉的一家家乐福超市,顾客排队付款。

(Reuters) — China’s tech giants Alibaba Group Holding and Tencent Holdings, worth a combined $1 trillion, are on a retail investment binge, forcing merchants to choose sides amid a battle for shoppers’ digital wallets.

(路透社)——中国的科技巨头阿里巴巴集团和腾讯控股,价值合计1万亿美元,正掀起一股零售投资狂潮,迫使商家在争夺消费者数字钱包的斗争中选择立场。

Since the start of last year, the two companies have between them spent more than $10 billion on retail-focused deals, boosting their reach online and in brick-and-mortar stores.

自去年年初以来,这两家公司在面向散户的交易上花费了逾100亿美元,在网上和实体店都实现了扩张。

The aggressive drive, supported by large cash piles and soaring share prices, is part of a battle to win over consumers and store operators to the two firms’ competing payment, logistics, social media and big data services.

这一激进的举措,在大量现金储备和股价飙升的支撑下,是一场争夺消费者和存储运营商的战役的一部分,目的是为了争夺这两家公司的竞争对手支付、物流、社交媒体和大数据服务。

The result: fewer and fewer retailers left without allegiance to either Tencent or Alibaba.

其结果是:几乎所有零售商不是选择和腾讯合作,就是选择和阿里巴巴合作。

“All of the retailers in the brick-and-mortar world are very worried.They have to take a side,” said Jason Yu, Shanghai-based General Manager of market research firm Kantar Worldpanel.

“所有实体店的零售商都非常担心。市场研究公司凯度消费者指数驻上海的总经理Jason Yu说:“他们必须站队二选一。”

“Otherwise they are afraid they will be eaten alive in the future.”

“否则,他们担心将来会因为不识时务而淘汰出局。”

Alibaba is China’s top e-commerce player and its affiliate Ant Financial leads in mobile payments.Tencent’s strengths lie in social media, digital payment and gaming.It also has a major stake in the second-largest online retailer, JD.Com.

阿里巴巴是中国最大的电子商务公司,它在移动支付领域的合作伙伴是蚂蚁金服。腾讯的优势在于社交媒体、数字支付和游戏,还在第二大在线零售商京东商城中占有重要的股份。

Tencent and JD.com have a growing range of allies, including French grocer Carrefour, which has announced a potential investment from Tencent, and U.S. retail giant Walmart, which has a stake in JD.com.

腾讯和京东的盟友越来越多,其中包括法国零售商家乐福,后者宣布了腾讯和美国零售巨头沃尔玛的潜在投资,并拥有京东股份。

Tencent also bought a stake in Yonghui Superstores, apparel retailers Vipshop Holdings and Heilan Home, mall operator Wanda Commercial, and this month snagged a strategic tie-up with grocer Bubugao.

腾讯还收购了永辉超市、服装零售商唯品会和海澜之家,以及商场运营商万达商业地产的部分股权,并于本月与零售大佬——步步高商业股份有限公司达成战略合作。

In the other corner is Alibaba, which has invested even more heavily in Suning.com, Intime Retail, Sanjiang Shopping Club, Lianhua Supermarket, Wanda Film and IKEA-like home improvement store Easyhome.

另一方面是阿里巴巴,重金入股苏宁云商,银泰、三江购物、联华超市、万达影视和类似宜家的居然之家。

Key to the battle is China’s nearly $13 trillion mobile payment market, where Alibaba and Tencent are going head-to-head.Alibaba took a 33 percent stake in its payment affiliate Ant Financial this month ahead of an expected mega IPO.

这场较量的关键是中国近13万亿美元的移动支付市场,阿里巴巴和腾讯正展开正面交锋。阿里巴巴本月收购了其支付子公司蚂蚁金服33%的股份,预计将进行大规模IPO。

Ant operates China’s top mobile payment platform, Alipay, while Tencent’s payment system on its hugely popular Weixin chat app is catching up fast.Both firms are also making a big push in cloud computing and data.

蚂蚁运营着中国最大的移动支付平台——支付宝,而腾讯在其广受欢迎的微信聊天应用上的支付系统正在迅速赶上。这两家公司也在云计算和数据方面做出了巨大的努力。

“I think for payment (the retail push) is a very critical part because it’s almost a gateway,” said Yu.Brick-and-mortar stores in China account for about 85 percent of retail sales, creating a huge lure for tech giants.

“我认为支付(零售推广)是一个非常关键的部分,因为它几乎是一个入口,”Yu说。中国的实体店约占零售总额的85%,这对科技巨头来说有着巨大的吸引力。

“That’s the pot that Alibaba, JD.com and even Tencent want a slice of,” Yu added.“That’s the majority of the business where they can actually look for future growth.”

“这是阿里巴巴、京东甚至腾讯都想要分得一杯羹的地方,”余华补充道。“这是他们能够真正寻找未来增长的大部分业务。”

In return, the physical stores get access to payment systems, logistics networks and other services — not to mention the reams of data on consumers that the tech firms control.

作为回报,实体店可以获得支付系统、物流网络和其他服务——更不用提那些科技公司控制的消费者数据了。

Alibaba invested $486 million this month in a retail-focused big data firm, saying the deal meant it could better “help brick-and-mortar retailers succeed in the digital age.”

阿里巴巴本月在一家专注于零售的大数据公司投资了4.86亿美元,称这笔交易可以更好地“帮助实体零售商在数字时代取得成功”。