Alibaba’s Alipay platform hopes to better compete against key online payments rivals such as Tencent’s WeChat and Meituan Dianping by expanding its services to include food delivery and hotel bookings.
Alipay announced on Tuesday that it would allow third-party vendors to offer an expanded range of goods and services via its platform, including retail, food, accommodation bookings and healthcare.
According to analysts the move will put Alipay in a better position to compete against Meituan Dianping, which provides a “super-app” to Chinese consumers that enables them to access on-demand food delivery and movie tickets, as well as accommodation and travel bookings.
Alipay continues to remain the leading force in Chinese mobile payments, with a 54.5% market share in the third quarter of 2019.
Alipay said that it hopes to enable 40 million vendors to digitise their services over the next three years via the use of mini-programs, 181 of which were created in a single week not long after the initial coronavirus outbreak.
“Building a one-stop digital lifestyle platform not only creates immense value for our users – it will also play an essential role in accelerating the digital transformation of the service industry and unlocking more growth opportunities,” said Ant Financial CEO Simon Hu in an official statement.