Chinese tech firms pledge more help for street stalls, small vendors after premier’s comments
- Premier Li Keqiang says the Chinese government will provide more support for street stalls and small businesses as they are the “fire” of China’s economy
- Tech platforms like WeChat and JD.com responded to Li’s comments by announcing new initiatives to help smaller retailers
On Monday, Li said the Chinese government will provide more support for street stalls and small businesses as they are an important source of jobs and the “fire” of China’s economy.
The country can only develop well if its people are living well, Li said while visiting street vendors in the city of Yantai in east China’s Shandong province, according to a post on the Chinese Central Government’s official website.
WeChat announced in a post on its platform on Tuesday that it was launching a new “fire” plan to support the digital transformation of small and medium-sized businesses and offer them subsidies, business guidance and marketing support.
Alipay, meanwhile, touted its efforts to provide interest-free loans to small businesses over the past few months. “Premier, we promise that we will carry out our 2020 plan to help small businesses, raising their income from digital operations by 20 per cent and the availability of online loans by 20 per cent!” the mobile payments platform wrote in a post on WeChat.
On Tuesday, e-commerce platform JD.com also launched “Spark”, an economic support plan for SMEs, stall owners and shopkeepers. Under the plan, JD.com will source about 50 billion yuan (US$7 billion) worth of quality goods, and provide each small shop with a 100,000 yuan interest-free loan to stock these items, it said in a blog post.
The same day, electronics retailer Suning said it would support street vendors in night markets by offering them free storage via its 10,000 freezers in Carrefour and Suning convenience stores across the country. The company will also let these vendors use its live-streaming platform for free to sell their goods and provide low-interest loans of up to 2 billion yuan in total, it said in a press release.