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What is Alipay

Known with the Chinese name of zhifubao, Alipay is a mobile payment service offered by Alibaba group, and the most used electronic payment method together with Wechatpay (by Tencent) in China. The competition between the two is so strong that whatever you can do with one, you will be able (in 99% of the cases) to do it also with the other: as a matter of fact, Alipay, just like Wechat, allows to do basically everything through its mini-programs, which work like plugins of the original application.
Since practically anybody can create a mini-program, there are all kinds of functions: from ordering the food in a restaurant without asking the waitress, to pay electricity and other bills, show your health QR code while there is a pandemic still around and even invest your money in stocks, funds or other financial products.
Alipay also offers an automatic loan function – which means, if you need to make a payment, but your balance is going to be negative, you may get credit directly from Alipay (the availability of this option and the extent of the loan will depend on your account) – which you can pay back once you can.

It also offers, of course, a function to send and receive money from friends, for example to split a restaurant bill, but it is much more used for B2C transactions, since it is much more convenient than handling cash as well as quicker than a credit card payment.
Furthermore, Alipay has a built-in balance function to let you know how much you spend in each category of products and services as well as managing your income.
Practically everybody, from the street food seller to the high-end jewelry store, will accept Alipay payments: customers do not pay any transaction fee and the same applies to the sellers, making it even more appealing than PayPal in the West. The only cost you will have, related to the usage of Alipay, is in case you wish to withdraw your money – a thing that in the majority of the cases is not needed, since you can use Alipay to pay for almost anything in China.

If you need to do business with Chinese, whether in China or abroad, Alipay is a must for your business. Let us know if you want to know more details about this app.

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