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Alibaba adds smart tech to Maserati dealerships in China

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. said March 21 that its shopping platform Tmall partnered with British automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV's Maserati brand to upgrade two auto dealerships in China into smart stores.

Maserati dealerships in Shanghai and Beijing used Alibaba technology to integrate online and offline retail operations. Maserati also has a flagship store on Tmall.

Maserati and Tmall also combined their loyalty programs to allow the automotive brand to tailor marketing based on insights into Tmall's car shoppers.

In addition, a racing game was developed for Alibaba's shopping app Mobile Taobao, which registers users for Maserati's loyalty program. It will save images that facial-recognition technology at dealerships will then use to activate an AI-powered receptionist and send salespeople information about customers when they enter a store.

This collaborations follows Alibaba announcing earlier in March that Renault SA would sell cars in China through Tmall.

The Chinese e-commerce giant also signed an agreement with Ford Motor Co. to explore opportunities in retail and technology and partnered with Bayerische Motoren Werke AG to develop "digitalized experiences" for new BMW models being sold in China.