Friends can soon share frappuccinos and other Starbucks goodies across China throough the popular local messaging app WeChat.
Under a recent agreement struck between Starbucks and WeChat’s parent company Tencent, Chinese users of the app will be able to purchase any Starbucks product and send it over wirelessly anywhere in the country. The project, which is to begin in early 2017, will also allow WeChat users to add personalized messages to the Starbucks-branded drinks and gifts that they send over the app, according to Fortune.
Announced Wednesday, the new partnership will allow Starbucks to tap into hundreds of millions of potential customers from the WeChat user base. As of Q3 this year, WeChat posted 846 million monthly active users.
The deal also covered the expansion of WeChat Pay, the app’s virtual payment method, to reach the 2,500 Starbucks branches in the country. Starbucks has been aggressively building more stores in China, with a plan to have more than double its current store count by 2021.
“This new strategic partnership will leverage the strengths of both Starbucks and WeChat to create a true online-to-offline social gifting platform that will deepen our engagement with our customers in a unique and powerful way,” Starbucks China CEO Belinda Wong was quoted in the announcement. “Just as Starbucks cards are among the most gifted around the globe, we aspire to also become the most gifted brand digitally in China.”
Image via Flickr / Hirotomo T