Chinese fintech company Ant Financial has launched enterprise collaboration software, Yuque, as it celebrates Alipay’s 15th anniversary.

Why it matters: The move aligns with Alibaba’s overall strategic shift to enterprise-facing services.

  • Alibaba and companies within its ecosystem have been expanding enterprise-facing technologies such as messaging and productivity tools, as well as blockchain and cloud services.
  • Enterprise software has increasingly been attracting Chinese tech giants including Alibaba, Tencent, and Bytedance.

Details: Yuque, which translates roughly into “Communication Sparrow,” is a professional cloud-based platform for file sharing, editing, and organization.

  • The platform had been incubated within Ant Financial starting in 2015. The company said the tool has already been used by 100,000 employees at Alibaba, and is now available to other enterprises and organizations.
  • Yuque was first developed as a Confluence-like collaboration tool for internal use, an Alipay spokesperson told TechNode. The platform allows users to edit and share content in common file formats such as Microsoft Word documents and PDF, and supports markup languages including HTML and Markdown.
  • According to its website, the service costs RMB 5,999 (around $850) per year for a virtual workspace, which has a default capacity of 500 users but can be expanded as needed.
  • Currently, only the PC version is available. Users can access Yuque via Alibaba’s workplace tool DingTalk as a third party application. Users can also log in with their existing DingTalk account, as well as their logins for Alipay, WeChat, and Alibaba’s productivity app Teambition.
  • The company has decided to open up the tool to charity organizations, startups, and public educational institutions free of charge, the spokesperson said.

Context: Alibaba and its affiliated companies have been expanding their enterprise-facing tech offerings.

  • The e-commerce company launched productivity software DingTalk in 2016. Around the same time, rival Tencent’s messaging app WeChat launched an enterprise version, WeChat Work. Alibaba acquired the Chinese Trello-like productivity tool Teambition in March 2019 to expand its presence in the space.
  • Bytedance officially launched its own enterprise messaging and productivity tool, Lark, in April, aiming to compete with Alibaba’s DingTalk.

INSIGHTS | China’s shift to enterprise: a quiet evolution

Nicole Jao

Nicole Jao is a reporter based in Beijing. She’s passionate about emerging trends, news, and stories of human interest within the world of technology. Connect with her on Twitter or via email: nicole.jao.iting@gmail.com.

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