The Alibaba Group began testing drone delivery through its e-commerce site Taobao, bring tea to 450 doorsteps within an hour. Photo: Taobao.com
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is redefining high tea.
Drones are taking to the skies in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou to deliver tea to a test group of 450 shoppers using Alibaba’s website Taobao. The three-day trial of drone delivery service in the Chinese cities ends Friday as Alibaba continues to push its might across the globe.
Apple Pay is inching closer to China. Photo: Apple
Apple is still trying to get a license for Apple Pay in China, but its new friends at Alibaba are bringing Touch ID payments to the mainstream in China today, with an update to the popular Alipay app that gives iPhone owners the power to make purchases with a fingerprint.
Alipay, which boasts over 300 million users in China, is the e-payment branch of Alibaba which just had the biggest global IPO ever this year. Tim Cook and Alibaba CEO Jack Ma met this year to talk about an Alipay + Apple Pay partnership, and the addition of Touch ID support is a strong sign that Apple’s mobile payments solution could be added in the future.
“Right now, I think what we can say is that this is focused on the China market for Apple,” senior Alibaba executive Joseph Tsai is quoted as saying. “We are positive about the potential cooperation, but it depends on the details being worked out.”
Tim Cook gave a rare public interview on Monday night at the Wall Street Journal’s new tech conference, WSJD. The Apple CEO touched on a range of topics, including Apple Pay’s success, a big potential partnership, why the iPod classic was discontinued, and more.
Here are the biggest takeaways from Cook’s comments:
Snapchat is currently in talks with investors over a round of funding that could value the company at a mind-blowing $10 billion, according to sources for Bloomberg. That’s a little over half the $19 billion Facebook paid for WhatsApp, but double the $5 billion market cap currently held by BlackBerry.
Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has revealed that he recently spent $100 million on Apple shares in anticipation that they will rebound. The 59-year-old believes that Apple is a “very promising” investment, despite the current share price being almost 40% off its peak last September.
I wouldn’t pay $8,600 for an iPhone if it was delivered by Tim Cook himself.
We’re still a few months away from Apple’s new iPhone unveiling, but that hasn’t stopped a number of Chinese retailers from selling the device in advance. They’re using the mockup pictures that have been circulating for weeks to make a quick buck from the hotly-anticipated handset, with some asking for as much as $8,600 a piece.
Following that questionable leak from Case-Mate last week, another iPhone 5 case has emerged that reinforces rumors of a device with a significantly larger display than that of the iPhone 4, coupled with a thinner, tapered design.