Wal-Mart increases stake in Yihaodian

Updated: 2012-02-20 17:32

By Tang Zhihao (chinadaily.com.cn)

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SHANGHAI - Wal-Mart Stores Inc plans to increase its investment in Yihaodian, a fast-growing eCommerce website in China, increasing Walmart's share from 20 percent to approximately 51 percent.

Analysts said the move will allow Wal-Mart to continue to reach younger customers, who increasingly prefer to shop online.

"As a foreign company, Wal-Mart knows online stores will affect the profitability of traditional stores. Partnering with Yihaodian will help Wal-Mart maintain profitability in its traditional bricks-and-mortar stores while developing in the eCommerce sector", said Peng Jianzhen, deputy secretary-general of the China Chain Store and Franchise Association.

Neil Ashe, President and CEO of Walmart Global eCommerce, said, "This investment further enables Walmart to deliver a superb customer experience to Chinese consumers who 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."

The transaction is subject to Chinese government approval.