Alibaba Is Creating Cat-Shaped Car Vending Machines

Just when you though the concept of a car vending machine couldn’t be made any stranger, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has previewed the cat-shaped car vending machines it will soon open in Nanjing and Shanghai.

To use the upcoming car vending machines, interested customers must first have a score of over 700 with China’s Zhima Credit system. Additionally, they must be an accredited Alibaba Super Member.

From here, customers will be able to download a dedicated smartphone app that will allow them to select one of the vehicles from the vending machine to take on a three-day test drive or to buy it out-right. Upon being verified by either facial recognition or a log-in code, the vehicle will be delivered to the ground floor of the vending machine.

Users will be restricted to one test drive of each vehicle and allowed no more than five test drives in the first two months of the program, CNET reports. The likes of Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, and Volvo will all participate.

“Our thinking behind the Car Vending Machine is focused on helping users solve certain problems they face in the car-buying process,” said marketing director of Tmall’s automotive division (operated by Alibaba) Huan Lu.

“To do that, we are building a physical, experiential store that offers staffless car pickup through facial-recognition, three-day ‘deep’ test drives and a one-stop shop that displays [cars from] all mainstream brands at once.”

Alibaba intends on opening up dozens of other car vending machines across China in the coming 12 months.



  • Dennis James

    Trying to solve problems that nobody has, while forgetting to take into account 99% of the real buyer actions leading to a sale…luckily it’s just a small movie that can’t do any harm 🙂

    • Enter Ranting

      This is my biggest problem with Silicon Valley – solving problems nobody has, making life more complicated, encouraging people to rely more and more on expensive devices. I know we’re talking about China here, but it’s been ridiculous in this country for years.

  • fabri99

    Why though?

  • klowik

    Even if you can stop people test drive any car every day by limiting the amount of test drive per months basis, how do you identify genuine buyers not just random people trying the cars out?

  • Bash

    At least it’s not a hello kitty $hiT

  • CarbonPhiber

    Awesome – I love cats! This isn’t crazy at all! Woohoo!

  • Only in China? And you thought Japanese is crazy

  • Blackwater

    I used to drink Zima.

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