Posted inNews Feed to offer $75 million in incentives for merchants in Covid-hit Shanghai

On May 22, rolled out a new support program designed to help merchants in Shanghai to resume operations as the city’s months-long lockdown winds down. The Alibaba-backed food delivery giant plans to allocate RMB 500 million ($75 million) in incentives to merchants during the first two months after the lockdown is lifted in the city. At the same time, the firm will distribute initial incentives of RMB 70 million for drivers. already launched an RMB 20 million initiative program to alleviate pressure on merchants after the pandemic resurged in Shanghai in March. and rival Meituan are heeding the state’s call to cut fees for restaurants suffering amid ongoing coronavirus outbreaks.

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Tencent follows Meituan and in cutting fees for small businesses

Chinese tech giant Tencent said Thursday that it will offer a 10% transaction fee cut for small- and medium-sized merchants using its WeChat payment system, joining tech peers including Meituan and Alibaba’s in heeding Beijing’s call for tech companies to reduce fees for SMEs suffering amid ongoing coronavirus outbreaks. Tencent’s policy will span three years, covering transactions made between Sept. 1, 2021 and Sept. 30, 2024. WeChat Pay and Alipay, which jointly control over 90% of China’s mobile payment market, are popular platforms for millions of individuals, street vendors and small businesses to receive and send money. In a rare retreat by the People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank recently back-pedaled on a plan to ban personal QR codes from business use after a backlash from small merchants. [Reuters]

Posted inNews Feed to reimburse $3 million in commission fees to pandemic-hit merchants

Alibaba-backed food delivery giant announced Wednesday that it will allocate an initial fund of RMB 20 million ($3 million) to help alleviate the operational pressures merchants have faced as a result of China’s pandemic prevention measures. The proceeds will be distributed in the form of cash commission reimbursements to merchants in areas that were deemed mid- and high-risk in the first two months of this year. All the reimbursement transactions will be completed before the end of April, the company said. ’s move comes one day after rival Meituan announced similar measures to help businesses impacted by Covid regulations. The two Chinese food delivery giants are heeding last month’s call from regulators for tech platforms to cut fees for restaurants suffering amid ongoing coronavirus outbreaks. [NetEase, in Chinese]

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Shanghai market regulator challenges 12 e-commerce platforms to stabilize grocery prices

The Shanghai Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) summoned 12 e-commerce platforms, including Meituan and Alibaba’s Eleme, to discuss price irregularities during the epidemic, the market regulator said in a Monday statement. The platforms were told to further crackdown on illegal retail behavior, strengthen reviews on product prices, and warn delivery drivers against raising delivery fees. Both Meituan and Eleme vowed to strengthen their management in order to stabilize grocery prices during a challenging period for the food supply chain. [SAMR announcement, in Chinese]

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Starbucks teams up with Meituan to expand delivery services in China

Starbucks has entered into a partnership with food delivery giant Meituan in China following the expiry of its exclusive three-year deal with Alibaba’s at the end of 2021. Under the deal, Meituan users will be able to order Starbucks coffee and snacks through the app, a service previously only available through rival . The two companies will also launch a new service which will allow Meituan users to make bookings for private coffee tastings and classes at Starbucks stores. [Reuters]