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A delivery driver waits to cross the pedestrian crossing in the Futian district in Shenzhen, 2019. Photo: SCMP/Roy Issa

Hungry for the new iPad? can deliver it to customers within an hour of going on sale

  •’s pre-order service comes after Apple launched new Watch Series 6 in online event
Apple, the on-demand service provider owned by Alibaba Group Holding, will partner with merchants nationwide to deliver newly-launched Apple products directly to customers.

Customers can pre-order new Apple products on’s platform and receive them within an hour of going on sale, according to a company statement on Tuesday. and Meituan Dianping, which together hold more than 90 per cent of the food delivery market in China, are expanding into books and cosmetics as people diversify their online consumption habits amid stay-at-home policies during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In early April, announced that consumers could buy Huawei smartphones via its delivery service, hot on the heels of Meituan Dianping offering to deliver beauty products from Sephora. also said that last September, a resident in Hangzhou received an iPhone 11 he ordered on the platform five minutes after it went on sale.

In July, upgraded its platform to offer customers a broader product selection including beauty products, books, flowers and baby-care products, as orders of non-food products surged during the pandemic, and merchants started to offer online delivery through the platform to serve customers during the crisis.

In June, the number of merchants on the app increased by 30 per cent year-on-year, with the fastest growth in non-restaurant sectors, according to


“The on-demand service platform is accelerating its take-out categories … based on its advanced technology, mature operation model and efficient delivery power ... And they will expand to more business scenarios in the future as it is building an ecosystem for customers’ everyday lives,” said a Trustdata August report.

Alibaba is the owner of the South China Morning Post.