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Alipay launches digital transformation plan amid coronavirus response

Alipay, the world's largest mobile wallet app, announced a three-year plan to open its platform to support the digital transformation for 40 million service providers in its home market of China. 

The platform, a unit of Ant Financial Service Group, has been working with numerous companies during the coronavirus outbreak, to transform various companies to accommodate workers and residents who were forced to remain at home.

“The service sector in China is still in the nascent stages of digital transformation, and that means it has huge untapped potential," Simon Hu, chief executive officer at Ant Financial, said in a company release. "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."

In response to incentives from Alipay, more than 1,200 developers were able to create 181 mini-programs for the Alipay app that enabled contactless services in China, ranging from medical care, grocery delivery, logistics and other services. 

A Beijing-based grocery startup called Meicai, which connects farmers with restaurants and directly to consumers, launched a mini-program that attracted 800,000 new users, according to the company.

Alipay as of June 2019 had more than 900 million users. 

Cover image: Alipay