Alibaba, the multi-billion-dollar Chinese retail giant, unceremoniously dumped Lolli after a one-day fling, the Bitcoin cashback company has revealed. The conglomerate broke their contract with the sat stackers last week, with suggestions emerging since that the publicity associated with the pair’s Singles’ Day linkup was stoking the Bitcoin-China relationship too much for Alibaba’s overseers to stomach.
We’re excited to announce that we just partnered with Alibaba on Singles Day (11/11), the biggest shopping day of the year! ?
Lolli users can now earn 5% bitcoin back on millions of products. ?
Read more on the Alibaba x Lolli partnership here: https://t.co/CGX8ecoUND
— Lolli ? (@trylolli) November 11, 2019
It Started With a Kiss…
The story began on November 11, when Lolli announced that it had “partnered” with Alibaba for Singles’ Day – a shopping holiday popular in China among young people who celebrate their pride in being single – offering shoppers up to 5% cashback in BTC. This naturally created a great buzz for the company, which has already added the likes of Safeway and Hotels.com to its roster this year.
Lolli CEO and co-founder Alex Adelman called the partnership a “milestone”, but this particular milestone was thrown into muddied waters just days later when Alibaba Group told CoinDesk that Lolli had somewhat overplayed their hand, stating that the Lolli “never had the right to claim a partnership with Alibaba.com or imply one with Alibaba Group.” Instead, they say, one of Alibaba’s contractors “hired a subcontractor who brokered an affiliate marketing program with Lolli”, which doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, and to make things worse “Alibaba.com’s contractor is terminating the relationship with the subcontractor who was working with Lolli.”
Lolli Hits Back
Stung like any jilted lover, Lolli hit back themselves, claiming that Alibaba broke its contract by terminating the deal after trialing services for just 24 hours, adding that there was “no malintent…to misrepresent Alibaba”. The reason for Alibaba’s swift cutting of ties with Lolli may have something to do with the hype that the campaign generated. Despite China’s recent shift in attitude towards blockchain technology, it is still not the biggest fan of Bitcoin, and there are suggestions that Lolli’s campaign was flying a bit too close to the Bitcoin sun for those in high places to be happy with. This would explain Alibaba dropping Lolli mid-contract like a hot potato, and it doesn’t seem the relationship will be rekindled anytime soon. If there is a case for a marketing campaign being too successful, this might just be it.