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Shanghai residents confused about where to recycle their newspaper can now get help from an Alipay mini-program | Photo source

Alipay launches guide to Shanghai recycling

Computing & Tech

An Alipay mini-program helps Shanghai residents avoid fines with advice on recycling

Spotted: A new mini-program for Chinese fintech application Alipay helps users in Shanghai sort their rubbish. This follows Shanghai’s new, strict rules on waste-sorting, with high fines for those who do not use the correct bins. 

Alipay users can log into the Garbage Sorting Guidelines mini-app, type of their queries or take a photo of the rubbish in question, and receive an answer. Early questions included, “Does a cosmetic mask count as wet waste?” and, “Is a newspaper used to clean up after your pet hazardous or recyclable waste?” 

Another Alipay mini-program offers a garbage pick-up service that allows users to place orders to sell their waste paper, clothes, glass bottles, and plastics.

Both and now include the ability for developers to insert mini-programs into the payments ecosystem. These allow users to, for example, hail a in other countries, order in restaurants or rent bicycles within the app, rather than using a separate app. However, the mini-programs are increasingly branching out into more general areas. 

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