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Alibaba’s Koubei to expand its offline network in Shanghai

ALIBABA'S offline service arms Koubei said it hopes to work with 150,000 vendors and service providers in Shanghai by September this year, as it seeks to build an offline ecosystem that serves a wider variety businesses.

As a joint venture between Alibaba Group and its financial affiliate Ant Financial Services Group, Kobei hopes to provide offline businesses' store information that are easily accessible for consumers through their smartphone applications.

Through a unified barcode, Koubei hopes to build an online store front where consumer can browse user comments of each shop and complete their orders and payment online and now it works with about 25,000 offline merchants in Shanghai.

It is also building an open platform where third party Internet service providers can offer canteens and other service providers with data analytic tools, said Yang Jun, a Koubei business development executive in Shanghai.

Currently Koubei handles about 200,000 to 300,000 payments on a daily basis, and vendors can target specific groups of consumers such as new comers or frequent visitors with the data collected by Koubei to offer different services like coupons.


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