Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Friday (Oct. 26) it has completed its pending deal to purchase Yihaodian, one of the fasting growing e-commerce companies in China.
This strategic investment for a 51% stake in Yihaodian will allow the retail giant to gain deep access into the vast Chinese market place.
"This investment demonstrates we are committed to the development of e-commerce in China and bringing the best possible shopping experience to Chinese customers," said Neil Ashe, president and CEO of Wal-Mart's Global e-commerce division.
Wal-Mart said that Yihaodian already has 24 million registered users, and offers same-day delivery to customers in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai and next day delivery to customers in more than 100 cities in China. The company has been in business less than four years and offers more than 180,000 products from groceries and electronics to garments.
Wal-Mart declined to provide financial terms for the deal.
The retail giant has made no secret that it's on a mission to capture a larger share of the burgeoning Chinese e-commerce market.
Doug McMillion, CEO of Walmart International, said recently the brick and mortar expansion in China is moving ahead at a slower pace with roughly 100 stores planned over the next three years. The company will begin converting its business model in China to the "Every Day Low Price" platform in concert with the Chinese New Year in early 2013.
Wal-Mart already has more than 350 stores in 140 cities, and competitor Carrefour has about 200 outlets. Both are far from reaching saturation point compared to their respective homes in the U.S. and France, where they each have about 4,500 stores.
Kantar consultants say none of these retailers are playing with any scale as of yet within China.