Coffee giant Starbucks is deepening its partnership with Alibaba with the launch of voice-activated delivery on smart speaker Tmall Genie as it fends off competition from Chinese coffee chain, Luckin.

Why it matters: Closer alignment with Alibaba may help Starbucks in its competition with Luckin as the rivalry expands beyond coffee.

Starbucks is not only leveraging Alibaba’s lifestyle services, but also the benefits of its broader ecosystem, from the AI assistant to the music streaming business.

The feature connects membership accounts for Tmall Genie, food delivery platform Ele.me, e-commerce giant Taobao, and Starbucks.

Luckin said in May that it was seeking a tie-up with Alibaba-owned Ele.me, Starbuck’s exclusive delivery partner.

“The Starbucks feature through Alibaba’s Tmall Genie ushers in a new era of digital customer engagement for Starbucks, leveraging ground-breaking digital technology to create an unprecedented experience that elevates our connection with customers to new heights.”

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