Starbucks Corporation’s SBUX customers in China will be able to order drinks on multiple platforms run by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd BABA, the latter announced Tuesday.
Alibaba said the service will be available by activating “Starbucks Now” on any of its four apps, including online shopping platform Taobao, local services app Koubei, mapping and information provider Amap, and payment application Alipay.
Remarking on the joint initiative, Alibaba Group Vice President Toby Xu said, “Through this partnership, we will continue to support Starbucks in expanding its digital service offerings across China to meet ever-evolving customer preferences and create long-term value.”
Why It Matters
The coffee chain and the Chinese group have a partnership dating back to 2018, centered around integrating a virtual Starbucks store in each one of Alibaba’s platforms, which are accessible to over 500 million users.
The extension of the service to these four apps will allow the reach of Starbucks to expand to one billion digital platform users of Alibaba, the Jack Ma co-founded group claimed.
Last month, Starbucks said that 99% of its Chinese stores were open for business, after shutting down earlier due to the COVID-19 crisis. 90% of the stores that were reopened had returned to operating at the pre-pandemic levels, the Seattle-based company suggested.
Starbucks shares traded 0.1% higher at $75.06 in the pre-market session Tuesday. Alibaba shares were up 4.1% at $265.21.
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