Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. announced today that it has reached an
agreement to increase its investment in the holding company of
Yihaodian, a fast-growing eCommerce website in China.
The move will bring Walmart's total ownership stake to
approximately 51 percent. Closing of the transaction is
subject to Chinese government regulatory approval.
Launched in July 2008, Yihaodian offers more than 180,000 SKUs
and has achieved a significant position in online grocery
sales, as well as in categories such as baby/mom, consumer
electronics and apparel. The company has 5,400 employees and a
logistics network based in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Wuhan
Neil Ashe, President and CEO of Walmart Global eCommerce,
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
eCommerce, offering the latest in online innovations to give
our customers a unique shopping experience."
In China, Wal-Mart has faced intense competition on the
mainland, where it competes against China's Sun Art and China
Resources Enterprise, with local brands such as Yonghui and
With 173 million Chinese people shopping online, China's
e-commerce industry is expected to surpass 750 billion yuan
($118 billion) in gross merchandise value in 2011, more than
the gross domestic product of Vietnam. It is expected to
become the world's largest e-commerce market in 2015, Boston
Consulting Group said in a report.