Alitrip is a latecomer to China’s online travel market. Major online travel agencies such as Ctrip and eLong have long been aggregating services from traditional travel agencies onto their sites. More recently, Qunar, the travel search and service platform, wants to be the Taobao for travel services. After starting off as a travel search service, Qunar then added a transaction processing system, or Total Solution (TTS), to enable travel service providers to sell products or services directly on its site. Qunar supports numerous online payments services, including Alibaba’s Alipay, Tencent’s Tenpay and 99bill. So there is little differentiating it from a Taobao-like marketplace, with the only difference in revenue sources from Alibaba marketplaces in its lack of affiliate programs. Alitrip is, of course, striving to make its offerings more attractive to startups and users, as Qunar is pulling ahead here as it already has an large user base. For instance, Alitrip users can check into hotels without using credit cards to guarantee payment, by forwarding their Alipay account information for automatic fee deduction following their stay. Also, Alitrip has enabled pre-ordering and reservation of travel products through Yu’e Bao, the mutual fund only available to Alipay users. Get the full story at VentureBeat