Tencent and Alibaba bring their battle for supremacy to coffee

Coffee and beans
Coffee and beans

Chinese internet giant Tencent upped the ante on rival Alibaba in their race to corner the market for the country’s coffee drinkers.

Tencent signed a strategic partnership agreement with local chain Luckin Coffee on Thursday, according to official WeChat accounts for the companies. The tie-up will explore robotic delivery of orders as well as payments using facial recognition.

Tencent’s WeChat payment system will also be used at Luckin stores and orders online, according to the statements, which didn’t disclose the deal terms.

The partnership comes on the heels of Starbucks joining forces last month with Alibaba’s Ele.me unit to begin delivery of its drinks and baked goods in China. The global coffee brand is putting down big bets in China, wagering that it will triple revenue there over the next five years.

Luckin, a Beijing-based coffee upstart that opened for business this year, said it’s expanded to 1 000 stores in urban areas.

Tencent has more than one horse in the race. It also partners with Starbucks on mobile payments and social gifting on the coffee giant’s WeChat app.

* Fin24's parent company Media24 is part of the Naspers Group. Naspers owns a stake in Tencent.

* Sign up to Fin24's top news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO FIN24 NEWSLETTER
ZAR/USD
16.33
(-0.06)
ZAR/GBP
21.08
(-0.04)
ZAR/EUR
19.33
(-0.03)
ZAR/AUD
11.90
(-0.03)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(-1.15)
Gold
1949.72
(+0.03)
Silver
26.74
(+0.09)
Platinum
928.80
(+0.44)
Brent Crude
43.52
(-0.32)
Palladium
2356.01
(+0.63)
All Share
54673.65
(-0.66)
Top 40
50399.16
(-0.59)
Financial 15
9841.32
(-2.14)
Industrial 25
72558.00
(-1.08)
Resource 10
55438.10
(+0.58)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Do you think it was a good idea for the government to approach the IMF for a $4.3 billion loan to fight Covid-19?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes. We need the money.
11% - 1301 votes
It depends on how the funds are used.
73% - 8626 votes
No. We should have gotten the loan elsewhere.
16% - 1899 votes
Vote