Update (Nov. 15, 22:42 UTC): Alibaba Group has denied any partnership with Lolli. Details about this denial and the surrounding context are explained in full here.
Lolli, an affiliate retail startup that gives online shoppers bitcoin instead of regular cash-back perks, just announced its first Asian partnership with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.
Lolli's in-browser app allows users to shop through merchants' websites as they normally would, but earn small bitcoin rewards delivered to the in-browser wallet.
CoinDesk reached out to Alibaba for comment and will update the article if we hear back.
However, Lolli’s head of communications, Aubrey Strobel, told CoinDesk that Lolli perks will only be available to purchases made in the U.S. For Chinese-Americans, foreign students or travelers, this new option could add additional perks if they participate in online holiday sales, but residents in China will be unable to participate.
"Its products would be shipped from China to U.S. users," Strobel said.
Lolli CEO Alex Adelman referred to this partnership as a milestone for the startup, which plans to expand internationally in 2020.
"This partnership is a great first step to connect the two largest economies, China and the US, through bitcoin and commerce,” he told CoinDesk. "The opportunity is available for US users only for now but we plan to expand internationally soon, letting everyone in the world easily earn and own bitcoin."
Stepping back, several cash-back crypto startups are gearing up for the holiday shopping season. There are now several bitcoin retail apps, including competitors like Fold, Pei and SPEDN, targeting customers over the 2019 holiday shopping season, offering more bitcoin options than in previous years.