What happened: Canadian on-demand food tech startup Clickdishes and Alipay are partnering to launch a mini-program in Vancouver that will allow users to order ahead, skip the line, and make payment. With the mini-program, Alipay users will be able to access hundreds of participating restaurants across Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton areas to place orders. Clickdishes will be the first North American food ordering platform on Alipay.
Why it’s important: The partnership with Canadian food tech startup is Ant Financial’s latest attempt to expand its services in North America. It also hints the company’s moving more quickly with mini-programs which launched last July—more than a year after rival WeChat launched its mini-programs. Last September, it established mini-program business unit and announced that it would spend RMB 1 billion on developing mini-programs over the next three years.