Tesla Motors has decided to sell its Model S through Alibaba’s e-commerce platform Tmall on November 11, joining the Singles’ Day shopping festival. It is the first time that Tesla’s cars will be sold other than through their own website in China.

Buyers can place an RMB50,000 (US$8,200) deposit for the electric car on Alibaba’s Tmall.com. The deposit will be frozen in the customers’ mutual fund Yuebao, enabling customers to enjoy interest on the deposit before they complete the rest of the payment. They can then pick up the car in one of the five cities with Tesla collection points, namely Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Chengdu and Shenzhen. The collection can be made as quickly as in five days. In addition, Tesla offers accessories such as clothing, caps, toolboxes, mugs and blankets on its Tmall store for Singles’ Day.

Tesla’s cooperation with Alibaba can be dated back to April this year when Alipay, the payment affiliate of Alibaba, was added to the payment methods for Chinese users to purchase Tesla’s cars. In September this year, AutoNavi, the mapping service in which Alibaba has a stake, added information about Tesla’s POI charging poles to its maps.

Tesla is not the first car company to capitalize on Alibaba’s ubiquity in Chinese retail. General Motors and Volkswagen AG have launched similar marketing campaigns on Alibaba’s sales platforms.

China is an important market for Tesla, CEO Elon Musk said during his visit to China. To accelerate the construction of power infrastructure, the electric car manufacturer has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with China Minsheng Bank to build at least 200 charging stations in twenty cities nationwide.

image credit: Tesla & Tmall

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee (Li Xin) was TechNode's e-commerce and new retail reporter until June 2022, when she moved to Sixth Tone to cover technology and consumption. Get in touch with her via lixin@sixthtone.com or Twitter.

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