Alipay plans digitisation for 40 million Chinese service providers
Alipay has announced its three-year plan to “support the digital transformation of 40 million service providers” across China.
At the Alipay Partner Conference in Hangzhou, Ant Financial CEO Simon Hu said the company is opening its platform up to China’s service providers in a bid to become a one-stop platform for various digital services.
Marking a significant shift in the business’ focus from financial to digital services, Alipay says it wants to create “an open, vibrant digital ecosystem that offers users a gateway into a comprehensive digital lifestyle”.
The Chinese Big Tech says it was inspired by the size of the response to its incentive for developers to create mini programmes to help with the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Within a week, more than 1,200 developers had responded and created 181 mini programmes on the Alipay app, including services offering contactless grocery deliveries and contactless medical advice.
“The service sector in China is still in the nascent stages of digital transformation, and that means it has huge untapped potential,” says Hu.
“Amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, we have also seen how digital technology can be used to help service providers become more agile and respond effectively to the fast-changing market environment,” he adds.
In 2019, Alipay says the number of searches for lifestyle services within the Alipay app increased 300% compared to 2018.
“Since the very beginning, Alipay’s success has always depended on the success of our partners, and that is why we believe the only way to best serve consumers is to open up our platform further, so service providers can better tap into consumer demands,” says Hu.
With this announcement, China’s service providers will be able to tap into Alipay’s app traffic, featured in personalised service recommendations based on the quality of their customer experience.
The Big Tech says it will also work with 50,000 independent software vendors (ISVs) – companies which package Alipay’s technologies into their own – to help the 40 million service providers digitize their operations.