Alipay, the world’s leading open digital lifestyle platform operated by Ant Group, today unveiled data showing how China’s service industry is embracing the power of digital technology as it continues to recover from the impact of COVID-19 and prepare for the future.
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Simon Hu, Chief Executive Officer at Ant Group, at Alipay’s Partner Conference in Hangzhou, China on May 20, 2020 (Photo: Business Wire)
Service providers in China have built over 800 Alipay mini programs in just two months, each with more than 10,000 monthly active users (MAU), since Alipay first announced a plan to help 40 million service providers go digital. By leveraging Alipay’s AI-driven incentive programs, service providers that consistently improve users’ experience on the platform can receive optimized user traffic.
“The service industry is at a critical juncture in its digital journey, and Alipay continues to play an important role in facilitating this transformation,” said Simon Hu, Ant Group’s Chief Executive Officer. “This pivot to digital is expected to drive significant growth for the internet sector in the next decade.”
“We are committed to opening up our platform and collaborating with our partners to support more service providers as they continue to go digital,” Simon said.
On-demand logistics services company Huolala underwent a digital transformation shortly after business plunged 93% during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Shenzhen-based company rapidly developed and deployed an Alipay mini program to make its delivery services available to users of the app.
Today, Huolala continues to improve customer experience on the platform by optimizing and adding new services to its Alipay mini program. As a result, the company’s mini program has received more optimized user traffic. Winnie Xue, Business Development Director at Huolala, said, “Alipay’s mini programs can also run seamlessly on other major platforms within the Alibaba ecosystem, such as AutoNavi and Tmall, enabling service providers like us to reach more users without incurring additional development costs.”
As a result, Huolala’s daily transactions via Alipay soared 667% from March to April, representing a year-on-year surge of 142%.
Managers of more than 1,000 scenic destinations, as well as 300 city administrators in China, have also set up Alipay mini programs so users can access services such as carpark payments and making hospital or viral test appointments, without having to installing separate apps for each service.
As of May 20, city administrators in more than 100 cities across China have also issued consumption coupons via Alipay mini programs, with 90% of the beneficiaries being SMEs, such as milk tea shops, restaurants and hair salons.
Alipay is also working with Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), enabling them to support service providers on their digital transformation journey. ISVs package Alipay’s technologies into solutions to meet the needs of specific industries and use cases, ranging from consumer retail, food-and-beverage, hotels-and-accommodations, transportation to medical services. Service providers going digital has also brought about new growth opportunities for ISVs.
Case studies of ISVs supporting service providers to go digital on Alipay
- ISV Qimaiyunshang helps catering businesses develop Alipay mini programs that enable customers to scan a QR code to order food, or wait in a virtual queue via the Alipay app. It saw a surge of 20,000 new catering business clients in the past month due to increasing demand from restaurant owners for digital services.
- Quick Ying Technology, an ISV focused on the tourism sector, supported managers of 50 scenic destinations to launch their Alipay mini programs since mid-February, and has hired an additional 30% more people to cope with the surge in clients.
Alipay is the world’s leading open digital lifestyle platform operated by Ant Group. In 2004, Alipay launched as an escrow service to address the issue of trust between online buyers and sellers in the early days of e-commerce in China. Continuously innovating to bring mobile payment to the world, Alipay serves more than 1.2 billion users worldwide together with its global e-wallet partners as of June 30, 2019.
Alipay has evolved from a payment tool to become a one-stop digital lifestyle platform. Through an open platform strategy, it introduces service providers from sectors such as local living, public services, and financial services, to bring consumers a more comprehensive experience. Along the way, it helps merchants digitalize their operations, promoting digital transformation in the service industry.
Alipay actively shares its financial technology experience with overseas partners, in order to bring inclusive financial services to the world. Working with more than 250 overseas financial institutions, Alipay created online payment channels for buyers and sellers in more than 200 countries and regions. When Chinese people travel abroad, they can pay directly using their mobile phones, and receive dedicated local merchant services through Alipay. These services have been introduced in 56 countries and regions. Tax reimbursement via Alipay is supported in 35 countries and regions, and Alipay supports 27 different currencies. In addition, foreign tourists and foreigners living in China can also use Alipay for mobile payments in the country.