Ant Financial chair vows to clamp down on racy content posted on Alipay’s social platform

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 November, 2016, 5:07pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 November, 2016, 10:42pm

The chairwoman of Ant Financial Services has apologised after a new social networking tool within its Alipay mobile payments app sparked a moral debate about users posting salacious material on the platform.

In a letter to staff and users, Lucy Peng, CEO and chairwomen of Ant Financial, an affiliate of Alibaba Group, promised to clamp down on content such as racy photographs of young women being posted on the new Quanzi, or “social circles” feature.

As part of efforts to attract more young users to the electronic payment platform, Alipay launched the function last week for a trial period. It allows users to create and operate different social circles covering topics like sports, reading, social networking and finance.

Quanzi groups covering three specific types of female users – college students, white-collar workers and women living overseas – quickly became popular but controversial as young female users began uploading sexy photos and posts to entice male users to part with their digital cash.

Only those users with high credit scores based on the Alipay payment system are permitted to comment and communicate with photo uploaders.

In her letter, Peng said the new social networking function would continue, but any social circle found to be distributing inappropriate content would be removed immediately. Further, users who maliciously upload inappropriate images through their Alipay account will be permanently banned from the platform, she added.

Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post.