On Wednesday, some Meituan Dianping users on Chinese social media claimed that the food delivery app no longer supported the Alipay payment option.
Screenshots of Meituan order pages circulating online only showed a bank card payment option, WeChat Pay as well as Meituan’s recently launched monthly payment plan.
Image via @凤凰网财经/Weibo
However, after a quick look on the app, we found Meituan delivery orders could still be made via Alipay. Other users on Weibo have also said they are still able to use Alipay on Meituan.
According to Pandaily, Tencent-backed Meituan has previously blocked Alipay in 2016 and 2018. Alipay’s parent company has a 1.48% stake in Meituan.
The topic has been heavily trending on Weibo as some users have expressed their disagreement over the exclusion of Alipay. A poll conducted by Tech World showed that over 70% of Meituan users would switch to other online delivery platforms if Meituan no longer supported Alipay, as of press time.
According to Phoenix News, Meituan founder and CEO Wang Xing responded to the news late Wednesday night, writing, “Why doesn’t Taobao support WeChat Pay? WeChat Pay has more active users than Alipay, and transaction fees are lower.”
It appears Alipay has some incredibly loyal fans, as one Weibo user posted, “The last place that wouldn't let me use Alipay was Walmart, now instead of going there once a week, I go once a year. I’ll uninstall [whatever app] wouldn't let me use Alipay.” Another wrote, “Meituan should perhaps recognize reality: For many users, there can be no Meituan, but there has to be an Alipay, money is stored in Alipay.”
In 2019, Meituan accounted for 65% of China’s food delivery industry, with Alibaba’s Ele.me taking 27% of the market. The PRC is the biggest food delivery market in the world, with Chinese food delivery firms raking in USD45 billion in revenue last year.
[Cover image via @互联网的一些事/Weibo]