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Alibaba’s Alipay to open up the app to more services in order to take on the Meituan

FILE PHOTO: the logo of Alibaba Group is seen at the company’s headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, on November 18, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song

BEIJING (Reuters) – Ant Financial, an affiliate of the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, will start for third-parties to provide services such as food delivery, and hotel bookings to its Alipay mobile payment platform with an extended outside of the financial services industry to focus on.

Alipay is traditionally compete against Tencent Holding’s WeChat payment in China, mobile payments and financial services, with users of both apps in day to day tasks such as paying bills, buying groceries or booking a taxi.

But for Alipay, said on Tuesday that it plans to begin allowing third-party vendors who provide services, such as retail trade, food and health care for the platform to move in a world in which, analysts say, the pit is more strongly against an on-demand service, giant, Meituan Dianping, the “super-app”.

Alipay said it was going to help the 40 million to suppliers of “digitization” of their services over the next three years by providing them with the opportunity to open a “mini-programs” on Alipay. This, in turn, will allow the suppliers to take on the 900-million-customer base in China.

“The building is a one-stop lifestyle platform to create, not only of inestimable value for all of our users – it also plays a key role in accelerating the digital transformation of the industry, and to develop more opportunities for growth, the” Ant Financial’s Chief Executive Officer, Simon Property, who was appointed to be in charge of the company, and in December, it said in a statement.

Meituan, which is currently China’s third-most valuable company in the internet market-captalization, and offers services ranging from on-demand, food delivery, movie tickets, hotel and travel bookings on its platform.

Alipay said that it was during the corona virus outbreak in China, introduced a scheme to entice developers to create mini-programmes to a number of suppliers, resulting in a 181 mini-programs that can be made during the week.

One of the suppliers to strive for the delivery of services to Alipay. during this period, the Beijing-based supermarket will start Meicai, which connects farmers with consumers and restaurants, it said. Meicai is competing directly with Meituan Maicai, a grocery delivery app.

The ant has also been pushing ahead with expansion plans beyond its domestic market to China, to compensate for tepid growth. It has been over the past few months to apply for a Singapore a digital banking licence, and has invested in similar companies in South east Asia, and Europe.

Reporting Yingzhi Yang in Beijing and Brenda Goh in Shanghai; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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