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Alipay launches recovery assistance for Wuhan merchants

Alipay, the world’s leading mobile wallet provider, is undertaking a number of measures to help Wuhan recover as it re-emerges as the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Alipay, which has 900 million direct customers and is operated by Ant Financial Services Group, has set up a special page on it mobile app that identifies Wuhan merchants and their respective products and services so users can quickly locate them. The app also features live streams of local tourist destinations and the ability to make in-app purchases of local specialty produce.

"In every hardship, there lies an opportunity to envision and create a brighter future," Simon Hu, CEO of Ant Financial, said in a press release. "We firmly believe that after the COVID-19 outbreak, service providers who are able to tap into the power of digital technologies will come out the strongest."

Merchants using Alipay can also apply for loans under the "Zero Contact" campaign launched by 100 banks in China, including MyBank, a digital bank under the Ant Financial umbrella that focuses on SMEs. 

MyBank is waiving interest rates for 360,000 offline micro businesses in Wuhan for the first month and is cutting interest rates by 20% for Hubei province merchants outside of the city. 

Also, as part of a three-year plan unveiled in March to help thousands of independent software vendors, Alipay is working with 1,000 ISVs to provide incentives to use its digital cashier assistant and smart marketing tools to help create digital storefronts. The goal is to create five million digital storefronts for chain store brands.