Internet platforms Tencent, Meituan and cut commission fees for SMEs
Published: Mar 03, 2022 11:07 PM
Deliverymen wait to collect customer orders at a supermarket in Yongding District in Zhangjiajie, central China's Hunan Province, Aug. 5, 2021.Photo:Xinhua

Deliverymen of online platforms wait to collect customer orders at a supermarket in Zhangjiajie, central China's Hunan Province, Aug. 5, 2021.Photo:Xinhua

A number of Chinese internet platform companies including Tencent, Meituan and have announced measures in recent days to reduce commissions for small and medium-sized merchants, as part of an effort to aid embattled small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) amid new waves of the pandemic.

Tencent-owned WeChat Pay said on Thursday it will cut transaction fees by 10 percent for small and micro-sized merchants that use its payment system. The policy will be retroactive to September 1, 2021 and end on September 30, 2024. Also, fees on money withdrawals from the platforms will be reduced for individual users during the same period. 

The measure follows a similar move by Alibaba-backed On Wednesday, the food delivery platform announced it will allocate 20 million yuan ($3.17 million) to refund commission fees for its food businesses in 87 districts and counties that were listed as medium- to high-risk areas in January and February. Those merchants will enjoy at least a 15-day commission fee waiver or reduction.

On Tuesday, rival food delivery company Meituan also announced a range of measures to support small and medium-sized merchants, including reducing commission fees and capping rates at 1 yuan for businesses operating in medium- and high-risk areas. These changes are effective from the date a virus-hit region is listed as a medium- or high-risk area until one month after the lockdown is lifted. 

Other merchants facing operational difficulties will be eligible for a commission fee of less than 5 percent. The policy is effective from March to September this year, and it is expected to benefit over 1 million businesses. 

The moves of China's tech giants are also in line with the central government's policy to cut taxes and fees for SMEs. In February, the National Development and Reform Commission, China's economic planner, along with other ministries, issued a guideline to help the services sector recovery from the pandemic.

As part of this, online food delivery platforms were urged to lower service fees for merchants to help them bring down their operating costs.

Global Times