US coffee chain Starbucks has announced plans to distribute its coffees in China via the delivery giant Meituan, in an attempt to enlarge the company’s presence in the world’s second-largest market, reports Reuters. The US coffee chain said on Tuesday it has entered into a partnership with Meituan that will allow its Chinese customers to order coffee delivery and make reservations at its stores via the super-app’s platforms.
The move comes as competition in the Chinese coffee market is intensifying, and is aimed at expanding the availability of Starbucks, which first begun food delivery services in the country in 2018 through an exclusive partnership with Alibaba Group’s Ele.me arm, Meituan’s main rival.
“Exclusive cooperations have a time frame,” said Liu Xingliang, president of tech consultancy China Internet Data Center. “Starbucks will expand service with more partners, I believe this is not a surprise.”