Taodiandian, the restaurant & food app of Alibaba Group, is testing Apple’s iBeacon location-aware technology in one store of Yintai, a Chinese department store chain, in Hangzhou, where Alibaba Group is headquartered.

Hundreds of iBeacon devices have been placed in the store. Taodiandian users’ mobile devices will receive promotional messages within 50 meters from any iBeacon device.

The Taodiandian cartoon character will show up on its screen and suggest open Bluetooth if it hasn’t been turned on on a user’s mobile device.

Taodiandian will introduce the indoor mapping solution of AutoNavi, the Chinese mapping company Alibaba Group has acquired, for navigation. More features for loyalty programs, such as e-coupons, will be added then, according to the company.

Currently users can use Taodiandian to look for restaurants nearby, order dishes, make payments, rate any stores, among others. Yintai has made WiFi available in all of its department stores.

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com

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