Alibaba wants to usurp Walmart as the world’s biggest retail firm by 2016, and it seems that part of this plan involves offering consumers in China free data packages to encourage them to shop using their mobile phones.

As China Daily reports, the company announced yesterday that it will give China Mobile users in Guangdong province, as well as China United Netcom users in Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Hunan provinces, free access to up to 2 gigabytes of data in November and December.

Users can apply for the data allowance when shopping in Alibaba’s apps for the company’s Taobao Marketplace,, Juhuasuan, Laiwang and Alipay. Depending on the reception, Alibaba said it may extend and expand the program.

➤ China Daily | Alibaba offers free data to aid mobile business