Open digital lifestyle platform Alipay today announced a series of initiatives to support small businesses in Wuhan as the city emerges from lockdown. These initiatives will later expand coverage to support service providers across China as they tap into the power of digital technologies to transform adversity into opportunities.
Alipay has set up a special section, visible from the landing page of the Alipay app, to allow the platform’s 900 million users to locate merchants and their respective products and services in Wuhan. The section allows orders to be placed directly via the Alipay app for local specialty produce, and also enables users to access livestreams of tourist destinations across the city as it emerges from lockdown.
Merchants using the Alipay platform can also apply for loans offered by the “Zero Contact” campaign jointly launched by MYbank, an online bank under Ant Financial with a focus on serving SMEs, and 100 banks in China. MYbank will waive interest rates for 360,000 offline micro-merchants in Wuhan for the first month and cut interest rates by 20% for Hubei merchants outside of the city.
As part of a three-year plan unveiled in March to work with 50,000 Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) to support the digital transformation of 40 million service providers, Alipay will also launch a series of incentive programs to encourage 1,000 ISVs to leverage its full suite of digital tool kits, such as digital cashier assistant and smart marketing, to develop sector-specific solutions for 5 million storefronts of multiple chain brands. These programs are expected to generate hundreds of millions of cumulative page views for chain brands conducting business via Alipay’s platform in the next six months.