Alipay is to deactivate accounts that are not used for 12 months but has had to clarify which accounts will be affected, and how, after a backlash from users. Use of resources and user privacy are the reasons given, although non-banking payment providers were required to stop people from having multiple accounts last year.

The change is due to come into effect from September 22. Any users who don’t use or verify their Alipay account for 12 consecutive months will have their account or membership number deactivated. However, after announcing this in a change to the user agreement on Wednesday, there was plenty of criticism online by users.

The payments provider has now clarified that accounts with money in it or other services connected to it will not be closed. Accounts will be deactivated and can be reactivated in future.

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Frank Hersey

Frank Hersey is a Beijing-based tech reporter who's been coming to China since 2001. He tries to go beyond the headlines to explain the context and impact of developments in China's tech sector. Get in...