Alibaba is rolling out its new app Alipay Everywhere. The app allows users to ask even strangers for any kind of work in return for money, according to a blog post on Alipay’s official Weibo account on Thursday.
Alibaba turns April Fool’s prank video into reality
Last year in an April Fool’s prank video, Alibaba touted a similar feature. The video shows a fictional scenario in which users can ask strangers via “Alipay Everywhere” to deliver toilet paper, help fix their computers and even lend them coins when paying claw machines. Now this new app, which comes as a surprise, turns that April Fool’s prank video into a real mobile app.
This Alibaba app comes with location pins spread out in the map. Each pin represents a kind of service that can be provided by the nearby person, notes Business Insider. In the Alipay app, users are allowed to pick their planned service in categories like repair or education by searching and then make requests to the area service provider. Also the app allows the buyer and seller to have a chat before the deal is fixed.
The buyer makes the payment to Alipay, which pays the money to the provider only after the job has been completed. Ant Financial will not be taking any fee for the service, so it’s not known how the app will support the company’s bottom line.
Encourage interactions on the platform
Alipay has been struggling to boost communication among friends when doing transactions. This move may help Alipay encourage social networking among strangers within the app, notes TMTpost.
Alipay even came up with a campaign aimed at encouraging more users to explore “Alipay Everywhere.” Under the campaign, the app rewards a “privileged status” to its first 10,000 service providers. The “privileged status” display the services of main service providers prior to the services of ordinary users, notes BI
For Ant Financial, the company behind Alipay, it is not a big job task to develop and operate an app like Alipay Anywhere, considering its powerful database of 100 million users, notes Quartz. Presently, the app is limited to users in Shanghai, China, but Ant Financial promises to get the service extended to more places in the country.
On Thursday, Alibaba shares closed down 2.94% at $105.55. Year to date, the stock is up more than 29%, while in the last year, it is up more than 78%.