HANGZHOU: Alibaba, China's largest e-commerce firm, has announced plans for a summertime promotion with PepsiCo, the soft drinks giant, as well as a three-year deal with multiple Italian brands.

Working with PepsiCo and Tsingtao Brewery, Alibaba will distribute 800m beverage cans with QR codes, enabling Chinese mobile phone users to scan for prizes, coupons and after-sales service from more than 300,000 online and physical stores, Internet Retailer reported.

Its new "Ma Shang Tao" feature will run within Alibaba's Taobao mobile app and, once consumers scan the code, Alibaba will be able to analyse their behaviour, which it says it will share with participating brands and retailers.

Daniel Zhang, chief operating officer of Alibaba, said it wanted to broaden the applicability and usability of scannable codes so users can easily connect to additional services and content.

"We hope this initiative will give consumers the ability to unlock more personalised, customer-orientated potential from their shopping and entertainment activities via our platforms and services, as well as help our merchants to deepen their engagement and interaction with customers," he said.

In a separate development, the company has announced that it has struck a deal with the Italian government that will enable Italian brands to sell on the Tmall online retail site, China Daily reported.

Both parties will determine what product categories would present the best opportunities for Italian companies while also meeting Chinese consumers' needs, they said.

Alibaba added that Tmall will launch a promotion for popular Italian brands already on the platform and will set up a dedicated country page to highlight Italian goods.

Data sourced from Internet Retailer, China Daily; additional content by Warc staff