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Koubei seeks more objective ratings of merchants

ALIBABA'S local service platform Koubei is seeking to leverage its data and payment capability to help make the ranking of offline merchants on its smartphone application more objective by taking into consideration users' transaction data.

Koubei seeks to strengthen its service for on-demand lifestyle services to reflect the most popular local merchants in nearby regions through a new function on the latest version of Alipay's mobile application.

Zhu Xiaolei, director of Koubei's platform business, said the new ranking would reflect the consumers' preference in a more dynamic matter by combining real-time transaction through Alipay during different periods within one day instead of only showing users previous comments and reviews.

Koubei is battling rivals such as Tencent-backed Meituan-Diannping for a stronger foothold in the online-to-offline services market as Internet companies are encouraging users to adopt their online platform to search and pay for offline services.

Koubei, which is a joint venture between Alibaba and its financial services affiliate Ant Financial Services Group, now covers more than 1.4 million offline merchants in 360 domestic cities and handles 10 million transactions on an average day with service providers ranging from cafe, restaurants, leisure and entertainment activities and beauty salons.


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