Connecting online to offline is the new Holy Grail for the biggest players in China’s internet shopping explosion, whether they be domestic or overseas operators. E-commerce companies in China are queueing up to find stores to align themselves with.
In its quest for existing networks of physical stores, JD.com announced it had taken a 10 percent stake in domestic supermarket chain Yonghui Superstores for CNY4.31 billion (USD673.8 million).
Early last year, Alibaba became the main shareholder of Hong Kong-listed department store operator Intime. In July, after the cap on the number of shares foreign firms can hold in Chinese e-commerce platforms was lifted, Walmart took a 100 percent stake in Yhd.com. The local advantages of Yhd.com combined with Walmart’s global procurement resources, retail stores and supply chain will be a huge fillip to Walmart’s campaign to win over China’s consumers.
(Source: Shanghai Daily)