June 19, 2021

Microsoft pushes into grocery tech market in deal with China’s Hanshow

A person walks past a Microsoft logo at the Microsoft office in Beijing, China August 4, 2020.

Thomas Peter | Reuters

BEIJING — Microsoft‘s China arm announced Thursday a strategic partnership with Chinese retail tech company Hanshow to collaborate on cloud-based software for store operators worldwide.

The deal marks Microsoft’s latest foray into a retail industry that is being forced to accelerate a shift online. The integration of offline with internet-based sales strategies is known as omni-channel retail, and includes grocery delivery, demand for which surged in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Retail is one of the industries that’s seen some of the biggest disruptions in recent years, Joe Bao, China strategy officer for Microsoft, said at a signing ceremony at the software company’s Beijing offices.

The partnership is not just for the China market, but also for bringing…

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