What happened: Kroger is venturing outside of the US for the first time to join the online grocery sales battle with the help of Alibaba. The company plans to sell its goods through Alibaba’s e-commerce platform Tmall. Kroger will face competition from Wallmart which has a deal with Alibaba’s rival JD.com.

Why it’s important: In the US, Kroger has already partnered up with British retailer Ocado to fight off competition from Amazon and its Whole Foods. This includes automated warehouses and delivery systems. In China, the online grocery industry has been lively since Alibaba first announced its “new retail” concept and introduced Hema Fresh Stores. In a bid to compete with Alibaba, Walmart also opened a small high-tech supermarket in partnership with JD.

Masha Borak is a technology reporter based in Beijing. Write to her at masha.borak [at] technode.com. Pitches with the word "disruptive" will be ignored. Read a good book - learn some more adjectives. More by Masha Borak

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