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Shopping giant Alibaba denies partnership with bitcoin rewards app Lolli

Source: www.alibabagroup.com

Mon, 18 Nov 2019, 05:10 am UTC

Following recent reports of bitcoin rewards app Lolli striking a partnership with Alibaba, the shopping behemoth has denied the alliance with the startup.

Speaking to CoinDesk, an Alibaba spokesperson clarified that Lolli basically had a partnership with a subcontractor of an Alibaba contractor, not Alibaba itself.

“One of Alibaba.com’s contractors hired a subcontractor who brokered an affiliate marketing program with Lolli. This was done without the knowledge of Alibaba.com,” he explained. “Alibaba.com’s contractor is terminating the relationship with the subcontractor who was working with Lolli. As a result, Lolli should no longer promote or bring traffic to Alibaba.com.”

The spokesperson went on to say that Lolli did not have the right to “claim a partnership with Alibaba.com or imply one with Alibaba Group.”

In its press release detailing the alliance, Lolli had said that its users would be able to earn 5 percent bitcoin back when shopping on Alibaba.com.

Responding to Alibaba’s denial, Lolli CEO Alex Adelman said, “There has to be an integration for us to send sales to someone’s site.”

Miscommunication?

Furthermore, CoinDesk said that contractual agreements suggested that Lolli was allowed to use “Alibaba related keywords” in online materials.

Lolli’s head of communications Aubrey Strobel also said that Alibaba.com itself trialed Lolli’s services for one day during the Singles Day campaign. However, after online reports attracted public interest, Alibaba allegedly withdrew from the partnership.

It is worth mentioning here that Lolli has been processing bitcoin rewards for Ali Express shoppers since May this year.

“It seems as though there was a miscommunication on Alibaba’s end and while that’s unfortunate, we look forward to the possibility of working with Alibaba.com again in the future,” Strobel said in a statement. “In the interim, Alibaba Group’s AliExpress is still live on Lolli.”

As such, it is quite difficult to decipher what went wrong and where. While Lolli perceived this to be an expansion of its relationship with its existing client, for Alibaba it was a private and “transactional” deal between third parties and not its official partnership with Lolli.

The spokesperson even said that Alibaba Group does not have direct contact between Lolli, despite the processing of AliExpress rewards. He went on to say that Alibaba Group does not work with any bitcoin-related companies.

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