BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores' investment in China continues to grow as the company now has a controlling stake in one of the country's fast-growing e-commerce websites. The company announced that it has reached an agreement to increase its investment in the holding company of Yihaodian, bringing its total ownership stake to approximately 51%. Closing of the transaction is subject to Chinese government regulatory approval.
Yihaodian was launched in July 2008 and has become a leader in online grocery sales, as well as in categories such as baby/mom, consumer electronics and apparel. With 5,400 employees and an existing logistics network based in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Wuhan and Chengdu, Yihaodian is serving a growing customer base with same-day and next-day delivery of essential daily items at competitive prices. according to a press release.
Neil Ashe, president and CEO of Walmart Global e-commerce, said, "This investment further enables Walmart to deliver a superb customer experience to Chinese consumers that are already connected to the world through smart phones and social media. We are on track to create the next generation of e-commerce, offering the latest in online innovations to give our customers a unique shopping experience."
Commenting on Walmart's increased investment, Gang Yu, co-founder and chairman of Yihaodian, said, "Walmart not only brings us nearly 50 years of retailing experience and history, but also innovative technology and eCommerce solutions that will help us better meet our customers' needs. Their excellence in supply chain will enable us to improve our customer experience and operational efficiency."