(Source: Inside Retail Asia | 7 October 2016)
Walmart Stores Inc. has increased its stake in JD.com, China’s number two e-commerce site.
In a regulatory filing late on Wednesday, Walmart said that it has upped its stake in JD.com to 10.8 per cent from 5.9 per cent.
The move comes nearly four months after Walmart bought an initial stake in JD.com in a deal that also gave JD.com ownership of its Chinese e-commerce site Yihaodian, including the brand and app.
Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, is trying to improve its business in China, which is lucrative but increasingly challenging. In China, Walmart’s business expansion has been slow and uneven. It operates more than 400 stores after entering the country 20 years ago. It sees bolstering its online business as key to its future in China.
Walmart said at the time that it announced its initial stake that it could see a tremendous amount of traffic from JD.com’s huge customer base and its same-day delivery network. Getting China right is key to strengthening Walmart’s global online business. In September, it completed its deal to buy fast-growing US online retailer, Jet.com, for a purchase price of US$3 billion (A$3.9 billion) in cash plus US$300 million (A$394 million) in stock.
Walmart’s global online sales rose 11.8 per cent in the second quarter. That’s up from the seven per cent pace of the first quarter, but still far weaker than the 20 per cent increases from less than two years ago.