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Nestlé Deploys Coffee-Serving Robots In Battle Against Starbucks For Chinese Customers

February 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé has launched a marketing campaign targeting Chinese tourists in Tokyo that features the deployment of a Chinese-speaking humanoid robot with a tablet offering a variety of types, sizes, and strengths of coffee. When the selection is made, the humanoid places the order with another robot that makes the coffee. The cash-free, cashier-free system in the city’s Asakusa shopping district uses Alipay, Alibaba Group Holding's mobile payment system. The experiment is an attempt by Nestlé to expand sales of its instant coffee among the traditionally tea-drinking Chinese as it fights increasing competition from U.S. rival Starbucks.
Mitsuru Obe, "Nestle Serves up Robots in Japan to Woo Chinese Customers", Nikkei Asian Review, February 18, 2018, © Nikkei Inc.
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