China’s Ant Financial Launches New Enterprise Software, Yuque

Ant Financial, operator of the world's leading payment and lifestyle platform, Alipay has unveiled new work collaboration software, Yuque moving Chinese giant Alibaba's overall strategy towards enterprise-facing services.

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Established in 2014, Ant Financial Services Group, a spin-off of China's Alibaba is not dissimilar to the US giant, PayPal. However, over time the company has expanded beyond just its mobile wallet, Alipay. Now its products include online lending platform, MyBank, and investment fund, Yu’e Bao. Celebrated by Fast Company who named it one of the most innovative companies in the world, Ant Financial's unique point of view and AI expertise has modernized and improved financial services across the globe. As of January 2019, Ant and its global partners serve more than 1 billion users worldwide.

The announcement of Yuque, a cloud-based platform designed for file sharing, editing, and organization, arrives as Alibaba has progressed into enterprise-facing technologies such as messaging and productivity tools, as well as blockchain and cloud services. Started in 2015, Yuque has already been used by 100,000 employees at Alibaba but it's availability to other enterprises and organizations signals an exciting future for the Chinese conglomerate.

The platform, which allows users to edit and share content in formats like Microsoft Word documents and PDF also supports languages like HTML and Markdown. While only the PC version is available at the time of its announcement, it is at an affordable price of around $850 per year. Notably, the company will be offering Yuque free of charge to charities, startups, and public educational institutions.

“Yuque should not stop at service engineers,” the company’s website states, “and should be committed to providing a handy tool for everyone who wants to express their thoughts, so that knowledge can be recorded and transmitted.”

The platform can be accessed through users existing logins for Alipay, Teambition as well as Alibaba's workplace tool, Dingtalk, the company's productivity software that was launched in 2016.

The news comes as rivals of the Chinese giant, launch their own enterprise collaborations software. In April, Bytedance launched its enterprise messaging and productivity app, Lark aiming to contend with Alibaba’s DingTalk. While Tencent launched an enterprise version of WeChat, called WeChat Work this January.