Alibaba tech and services to power Universal’s Beijing resort

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Universal Beijing Resort and Alibaba Group strategic partnership announcement ceremony. (Image credit: Alibaba)

Alibaba announced on Thursday a partnership with Universal Beijing Resort to help the American theme park conglomerate’s digital operations for its newest theme park scheduled to open in 2021.

Why it matters: The Chinese tech giant pushing forward its ecosystem that blends online and offline retail channels in order to drive growth.

  • Universal Beijing Resort joins major brands such as Starbucks, Proctor & Gamble, and Nestle in partnering with Alibaba on its “service packages” which provide business support for e-commerce, marketing, travel and lodging, and payments.

“This partnership will also bring to fruition a multi-dimensional data-enabled operations management solution for the industry and create a truly digitized theme park. The future of commerce is driven by technology and big data, and digitization will be the source of brand-new growth opportunities for all businesses.”

Daniel Zhang, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group

Details: At the core of the deal, Universal Beijing will leverage the Alibaba Business Operating System—a suite of services and digital tool offerings—to digitize the operations and management of the theme park, according to the company.

  • Alibaba Cloud will support the theme park’s digitization and technology infrastructure.
  • Universal Beijing will have a flagship store on Alibaba’s online travel platform Fliggy where visitors can buy tickets and book hotels.
  • Alipay’s facial-recognition payment technology will be enabled across the resort for park entry, storage lockers, and express-lane access for merchandise and food purchases.
  • Alibaba’s local services platform Koubei will provide food and beverage recommendations based on guest preferences, and enable online meal purchases to minimize wait time.
  • Online shopping marketplace Tmall will partner with the resort on co-marketing campaigns.
  • Video streaming platform Youku will include Universal movies in a special Universal-branded zone.

Context: Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang launched the Alibaba commercial operating system in January as part of its A100 program to help enterprises realize digital transformation across the Alibaba ecosystem.