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Tango app launches mobile shopping feature with Walmart, Alibaba

Popular messaging app creates new shopping site with top retailer Walmart and e-commerce giant Alibaba as partners.

Tango cofounders Chief Executive Uri Raz and Chief Technology Officer Eric Setton Tango

Hot Silicon Valley messaging service app Tango is making its foray into mobile commerce by partnering up on a new shopping feature with retail behemoth Walmart and e-commerce giant Alibaba.

With Tuesday's launch of Tango Shop, Tango said its 300 million users will now be able to browse and make purchases from and Alibaba's AliExpress through the messaging app. They also can create and share personalized catalogs with others.

Noting that about 50 percent of all e-commerce is now being done through mobile devices, Tango's partnership with big-name retailers is timely.

"The mobile shoppers are there and we want to get as many diverse products in front of our customers as fast as we can," Chi-Chao Chang, vice president of Tango Labs. "It's important for us to enter the mobile commerce space with credible partners."

As social networks are looking to become vehicles for e-commerce, Tango's new feature comes more than a year after the Mountain View, Calif.-based messaging service received some $215 million in funding from Alibaba. The investment secured the Chinese company a minority stake in Tango and a seat on its board.

Alibaba's websites dominate in China, a country whose citizens routinely shop online. Last year, it had the world's biggest initial public offering at $25 billion.

Tango's primary growth has been in the US, but it also has a large presence in the Middle East and in parts of Asia. The company is attempting to become more than "just a mobile messaging service," Tango CEO and co-founder Uri Raz said in a statement Tuesday.

"We're leading the way in 'conversational commerce,' making it simple for customers to connect with leading retailers using the same platform they rely on every day to chat with friends and family," he said.