Offline Merchants Are Getting in on Taobao’s 12.12 Online Sale

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Offline Merchants Are Getting in on Taobao’s 12.12 Online Sale

More than 20,000 Chinese brick-and-mortar stores, including supermarkets and fast-food outlets, are set to participate in Friday’s 12.12 event through promotions with Alipay Wallet, the mobile app from China√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s largest e-payments provider.

More than 20,000 Chinese brick-and-mortar stores are set to participate in Taobao Marketplace’s upcoming 12.12 online-shopping sale through promotions with Alipay Wallet, the mobile app from Alipay, China’s largest e-payments provider.

The 12.12 sale, scheduled to be held Friday, is an annual 24-hour event aimed at giving a revenue boost to Taobao Marketplace’s small- and micro e-tailers that have difficulty competing against deep-pocketed major brands during Alibaba Group’s giant 11.11 Shopping Festival.

This year, as shopping via mobile devices continues to boom in China, offline merchants are being encouraged to join the 12.12 sale. While they may not have an Internet presence, brick-and-mortar operators can still draw in new customers by offering discounts and special deals via Alipay Wallet, China’s top mobile-payment app, according to a press release issued by Taobao.

For example, on Dec. 12, restaurants and other food vendors—including Dairy Queen, HaiDiLao Hot Pot, BreadTalk, HuiLauShan and Shanghai Pizza Hut outlets—plan to give customers 50 percent discounts that can save them up to RMB 50 ($8) on one-time purchases made using Alipay Wallet.

Weighing in with similar offers are 13 supermarket chains and 20 convenience stores located throughout China, among them Wu Mart, Family Mart, KEDI and Lotus.

Alipay Wallet is a cashless payment solution for a wide range of goods and services. During 12.12, users of Alipay Wallet will also be able to get discounted fares for cab rides and buy beverages for just one fen (.002 cents) from thousands of vending machines located in subway stations, college campuses and office buildings throughout the country.

This week, Alipay announced that the latest version of Alipay Wallet (v. 8.4) now supports Apple’s Touch ID. This means iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus owners who have downloaded the wallet app will be able to use their Alipay accounts to pay for purchases of less than RMB 1,000 ($162) by using their smartphone’s fingerprint scanner instead of a password at some Chinese stores.

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