Alipay has announced the launch of its new initiative “码商成长计划” (small and micro businesses growth plan) dedicated to helping small and micro businesses grow, local media is reporting. Ant Financial said that its Alipay platform is pledging RMB 1 trillion in loans over the next 3 years to help businesses overcome financing problems and difficulties. Alipay said it aims to provide “security” and “growth” to the 100 million businesses that it serves and to support the vast community of small businesses to keep up the pace in the Internet+ era. Mashang (码商) refers to small/micro businesses and street vendors who rely on QR codes (二维码) to receive payments.

QR code technology is an indispensable part of everyday life in China. Through financial services like Alipay and WeChat, owners of small businesses and street vendors are able to earn their living and gain access to a myriad of financial services such as operational analytics, wealth management, finance, insurance, loans.

The Chinese economy currently has 100.24 million business entities—the most in the world—in which individually-owned businesses make up nearly 70%.