Global coffeehouse chain Starbucks is reportedly planning to start delivering its drinks and snack products across China through a partnership with e-commerce major Alibaba Group Holding.

Starbucks will strike a deal with Alibaba’s meal delivery service company Ele.me to supervise the delivery operations, according to The Wall Street Journal’s sources.

The development follows after the coffeehouse chain announced plans to test delivery service options in Beijing and Shanghai in fiscal 2019.

“Alibaba and Starbucks are always exploring new ways to deepen our long-term partnership in China.”

Starbucks China chief executive officer Belinda Wong was quoted by CNBC as saying: “Let me assure you that our new delivery service will adhere to the high standards our customers in China have come to expect as we expand our business there.”

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An Alibaba spokesperson was further quoted by the publication as saying: “Alibaba and Starbucks are always exploring new ways to deepen our long-term partnership in China. We have nothing more to share at this point.”

In its financial results for the third quarter ended on 1 July, Starbucks reported that China’s comparable store sales decreased by 2%.

In its first-ever China Investor Day in Shanghai held on 16 May, Starbucks announced plans to build 600 net new stores annually over the next five years in Mainland China.

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The company aims to double the market’s store count to 6,000 across 230 cities by 2022.