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Starbucks expands Alibaba-powered delivery service to more cities in China

Starbucks Corp. is expanding its coffee delivery service in China, which is being offered through a strategic partnership with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

Following launches in Beijing and Shanghai in September, the service provided by Alibaba's food delivery unit Ele.me is being rolled out to nine more Chinese cities, according to an Oct. 18 post on the Chinese e-commerce giant's company news site Alizila.

Starting Oct. 22, Starbucks coffee delivery will be available in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Tianjin, Nanjing, Wuhan, Ningbo and Suzhou, TechNode reported Oct. 18, citing a Chinese-language announcement from Starbucks China.

Under the Starbucks-Alibaba partnership that was announced in August, there are plans to have the delivery service in 30 cities across China by year-end.

In addition, Starbucks is piloting two delivery kitchens in Shanghai and Hangzhou that have been set up inside outlets of Alibaba's supermarket chain Hema. The kitchens leverage Hema's fulfillment and delivery system to support the coffee deliveries, and will expand to more Chinese cities in the future, the Alizila post said.