Ant Group, the fintech affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding, and Shenzhen-based Huawei Technologies are embarking on a collaborative venture to develop a dedicated version of Ant’s flagship mobile payment application, Alipay, for HarmonyOS, Huawei’s native smartphone operating system.
The collaboration is set to offer benefits to users of both Alipay as well as Huawei’s range of devices, and marks a further shift for Huawei away from Google’s Android system. Huawei has been developing more native applications for its HarmonyOS platform ever since being placed on a US trade blacklist, and Alipay along with WeChat Pay have become dominant payment options in China, the world’s largest smartphone market.
According to Ni Xingjun, President of Alipay China business group and Chairman of Ant’s technology strategy committee, this alliance is expected to enhance user experiences across various applications, adding that the collaboration would also improve operational efficiency for merchants engaged across both ecosystems.
“Huawei’s digital coverage in the field of Alipay mini-programs is also conducive to improving the operating efficiency of merchants on the two ecosystems,”
Richard Yu Chengdong, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business group and Chairman of its Intelligent Automotive Solution business unit, described the deal with Ant as a step forward in the development of native applications for HarmonyOS in China.
This development comes shortly after Alibaba began work on a new version of DingTalk, its workplace collaboration app, that is compatible with Huawei’s HarmonyOS.
HarmonyOS, according to Huawei’s Richard at the company’s annual developer conference in August, has seen considerable growth. The platform is currently used on over 700 million devices and is supported by a community of more than 2.2 million third-party developers.
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