Starbucks and Tencent have formed a strategic partnership to deploy WeChat payment in Starbucks stores in mainland China.

Starting from December 8, 2016, Starbucks began introducing WeChat payment into its stores in mainland China. Chinese consumers will now be able to buy Starbucks' coffee and other products with WeChat payment.

The cooperation will bring together the international coffee chain and the Chinese Internet service giant. Starbucks has nearly 2,500 stores in China and its average annual sales for its individual stores in 2016 were about USD840,000. Meanwhile, WeChat payment has about 400 million users.

Apart from the payment cooperation, Starbucks will also launch its gift cards on WeChat.

Prior to this, Starbucks released a five-year growth plan, in which it aims to open more stores around the world. The company expects to add 12,000 new stores around the world by 2021; and it plans to open over 5,000 new sites in China.