What happened

Shares of Beyond Meat (BYND -0.91%) climbed on Wednesday after the meat alternatives company announced a new partnership with one of the largest and most powerful companies in China.

At 2:45 p.m. EDT, Beyond Meat's stock was up 5% after rising as much as 13% earlier in the day.

So what

Beyond Meat's plant-based burger patties will be sold at 50 of Alibaba's (BABA -0.92%) Freshippo grocery stores in Shanghai, beginning this weekend. The two companies plan to roll out the Beyond Burger to additional Freshippo stores in Beijing and Hangzhou in September.

The Beyond Burger.

Beyond Meat and Alibaba are teaming up to bring the Beyond Burger to more plant-based food fans in China. Image source: Beyond Meat.

The deal marks Beyond Meat's entrance into China's massive supermarket industry.

"We are proud to partner with Alibaba's Freshippo, a dominant player in the retail space, to introduce our hallmark Beyond Burger to home cooks throughout China," Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown said in a press release.

Now what 

Beyond Meat's partnership with Alibaba could be a game-changer. China consumes roughly $170 billion worth of meat each year, according to Euromonitor, which is more than any other country. Yet Chinese people are increasingly choosing plant-based substitutes in place of meat. The country's meat alternatives market is projected to grow to nearly $12 billion by 2023, up from less than $10 billion in 2018.