Looks like Alibaba wants to stay away from anything related to cryptocurrencies, as yet again it has thrashed a crypto business that has tried to call to itself a partner of the e-commerce giant. By now, it is quite evident that the company wants to come clean by never having been involved with a crypto business in the first place.
A month ago when Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao was asked if Binance was working with Alipay and WeChat to accept fiat payments, which in return would let customers buy crypto, Zhao had responded “Yes”. Alipay, which is the digital payment arm of Alibaba, displayed a firm negative stance towards with a “NO” in response to Zhao.
Alibaba then went on to reveal their anti-crypto attitude with a tweet which distanced them form cryptocurrencies. It tweeted:
The events sparked a media storm and made the headlines real quick. Zhao had to immediately clarify that the entire event was being misinterpreted by the media. He said:
“Some confusion by some news outlets. @Binance is not working directly with WeChat or Alipay. However, users are able to use them in P2P transactions for payment. Still not a small feat. But words/meaning gets twisted as they are passed around.”
Now, a recent report from Coindesk has just reaffirmed Alibaba’s thoroughness of not wanting to be involved with anything that has anything to do with cryptocurrencies. This time crypto startup Lolli takes the hit.
Earlier this week rewards shopping app Lolli announced their partnership with Alibaba on the occasion of Singles day. This allowed Alibaba customers in America to receive a 5% cashback in Bitcoin when shopping on Alibaba using the Lolli app.
Lolli CEO Alex Adelman had then tweeted that this “partnership” was a “milestone” for the company considering the fact that Alibaba is the biggest online retailer. He words were:
“Our partnership allows our users to earn free bitcoin on millions of products online every day. Arguably the most important piece of this partnership is that it supports our mission of connecting the entire world through commerce.”
What sounded like a strategic partnership has turned out to be a one day affair, as revealed by an Alibaba spokesperson. The spokesperson told Coindesk:
“One of Alibaba.com’s contractors hired a subcontractor who brokered an affiliate marketing program with Lolli. This was done without the knowledge of Alibaba.com, Alibaba.com’s contractor is terminating the relationship with the subcontractor who was working with Lolli. As a result, Lolli should no longer promote or bring traffic to Alibaba.com.”
The announcement now looks like Lolli’s attempt at using Alibaba as a means to promote itself. Coindesk, however, reports that contractual agreement permitted the use of “Alibaba related keywords” in online campaigns. Aubrey Strobel, head of communications at Lolli revealed that the retail giant gave Lolli’s services a try for 24 hours while the sale was live and then went on to dismiss “the partnership” after it received a lot of attention from the press.
Misinterpretation of the announcement resulted into the news coming out as Alibaba directly having ties with Bitcoin. Since China has been cracking down on cryptocurrencies really hard, this could be damaging for the company. Strobel further explained:
“It seems as though there was a miscommunication on Alibaba’s end and while that’s unfortunate, we look forward to the possibility of working with Alibaba.com again in the future. In the interim, Alibaba Group’s AliExpress is still live on Lolli.”
The entire event unfolded due to a crypto business making claims to have “partnerships” with a brand, which was actually just an indirect affiliate contract. A misrepresentation of something of this nature is actually quite damaging for the intersection of e-commerce and crypto. Alibaba never considered this as an official partnership and they continue to maintain that fact that the Alibaba group does not work with any bitcoin-related companies. The Alibaba spokesperson assured that there was no direct contact between Alibaba and Lolli.