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Alibaba Debuts Mobile Dressing Rooms in Partnership With Uber

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has taken its Taobao marketplace on the road—literally. The Chinese e-commerce king teamed up with ride-sharing service Uber to bring “mobile dressing rooms” to the people last weekend.

South China Morning Post reported that three 300-square-foot minibuses toured the city streets of Guangzhou, Chengdu and Hangzhou on Saturday and Sunday, inviting Uber users to come aboard, try on clothes and keep what they liked for free as thanks for testing the service.

The publicity stunt was Alibaba’s way of showing that authentic goods are available on Taobao, following a flurry of allegations that fakes flourish on the shopping site, while Uber has been trying to build trust with the Chinese public ahead of a potential IPO.

On a side note, Alibaba invested $250 million a year ago in Lyft, Uber’s biggest ride-hailing competitor stateside, but the San Francisco-based start-up has no plans as yet to embark on an international expansion.

So, might this be the beginning of a long-term tie-in? “Taobao will see how customers respond to the mobile dressing rooms before deciding whether to roll the program out on a bigger scale,” a spokesperson told the newspaper.