However, the company will not be the first to sell cars from a vending machine. Singaporean used-car seller Autobahn Motors set up a futuristic 15-storey showroom in December, dubbing it the "world's largest luxury car vending machine", while Carvana has built more modest versions in Tennessee and Texas.
While Carvana keeps the experience real with a machine that takes a token mega coin, Alibaba plans to plug its vending machines into its ecosystem that incorporates financing and data about the buyer's credit standing.
Buyers with the requisite credit rating from Alibaba's scoring system Sesame Credit will be able to drive off in their car with a 10 per cent downpayment, and continue to make monthly instalments through payments service Alipay.
Buyers appear to be lapping up the concept. Gary Hong, general manager of Autobahn Motors, said sales were up an annual 30 per cent to about 130 luxury vehicles following the move. He currently has a classic car being sold for almost $10m.
The business model reduces costs, including of the manpower need to store and keep cars clean and shiny.
Once a customer selects their car, said Mr Hong, it takes just a couple of minutes for it to be shuttled down from the tower - time spent watching an introductory video. "The cars always appear in their best light because of the spotlighting," he said. "It's like going to a jewellery shop or an Apple store."
The cars are well-lit in displays in the building-cum-vending box, and are visible from the street through floor-to-ceiling windows.
Chinese shoppers are already happy to buy cars online. Maserati sold 100 vehicles in 18 seconds during a flash sale on Tmall, while a similar sale saw fellow Italian luxury car brand Alfa Romeo sell 350 Giulia Milano cars in 33 seconds, according to Alibaba.
China, which has been the world's biggest auto market for the best part of a decade, sold more than 28m cars last year, according to the government-backed China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
Vending machines, particularly ubiquitous in Japan, are also popular in China, where there are an estimated 100,000 selling drinks, candy and other comestibles.