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Chinese e-commerce giant Taobao has found another way to rival Amazon. It recently debuted a pop-up cashier-less cafe called Tao Cafe. You scan your smartphone at the door, grab what you need, and after you step out, the bill will be automatically sent to your smart phone. Sound familiar?
Hundreds of eager Chinese customers experienced the store for themselves over the weekend at Taobao’s Makers Festival in Hangzhou where it debuted. The cafe, as the name implies, also sold drinks and beverages, alongside other gifts and knick-knacks. Purchases were made via Alibaba’s Taobao app. For now, Alibaba has yet to announce any future plans for a more permanent fixture, though Alibaba’s chief marketing officer added that the store wasn’t an indication of the organisation “opening more cafes”
Taobao has a huge share of the Chinese market, with over 369 million people active on its mobile app alone, each month. 150 million of those log on daily.