The service, which will launch in the New Year, positions Starbucks as the first retail brand to bring a social gifting and digital payment to WeChat in China.
Tapping into the 846m active user accounts, the feature will allow customers to send Starbucks products to others as gifts.
“Just as Starbucks cards are among the most gifted around the globe, we aspire to also become the most gifted brand digitally in China,” said Belinda Wong, Starbucks China’s chief executive.
As part of the partnership, Starbucks will also introduce WeChat Pay for sales in its mainland China retail stores. The cash-free service, which uses mobile devices to make digital payments, is one of the most popular merchant methods in China. More than 300m users have linked their bank cards with WeChat or QQ, another Tencent service.