Can Turning Newspapers Into Shoppable Storefronts Revive Print Media?

E-commerce giant Alibaba adds QR codes to newspapers’ pages for instant shopping opportunities.


Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba has partnered with 12 newspapers in China in an effort to encourage people to buy more papers and to shop on Alibaba’s online shopping site, the Taobao Marketplace.

Readers will be able to purchase items featured in a particular paper by scanning a “Shangtao Code.” As part of the promotions for this new initiative, readers who scan the QR code in any of the participating publications during the first four days of April can purchase promotional items that cost 1 yuan (16 US cents) on Taobao. Some of the newspapers that are part of the project include the Beijing News and the Southern Metropolis Daily.

China has over a thousand daily newspapers, but with more readers around the world turning to the internet for their news fix, they are facing problems with decreasing circulation and advertising income.

The initiative turns print media into a mobile product storefront, but it remains to be seen whether the project will help save newspapers (and the ailing QR code) from disappearing altogether.

[h/t] Quartz
Header Image: djjeck

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