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·         Alibaba invests another $1.3 billion into its offline retail strategy

·         Alibaba to take US$486 million stake in China retail data firm



Alibaba invests another $1.3 billion into its offline retail strategy


by Jon Russell, TechCrunch 

Feb 11, 2018


Alibaba has furthered its physical retail footprint after it invested another billion dollars into projects to develop its so-called “new retail” strategy which combines online and offline.


The Chinese firm, the dominant e-commerce player in its country, gobbled up a 15 percent stake in Beijing Easyhome Furnishing for RMB 5.45 billion, or around $867 million, and pumped $486 million into a big data retail firm in two deals announced over the weekend.


Beijing Easyhome operates 223 physical home furnishing and DIY-style stores across 29 provinces in China, which it claims makes it the country’s second largest in its field.


The second outlay is for a 38 percent stake in Shiji Retail Information Technology, Reuters reports, which works with hotels and high-street retailers on data-related services to increase customer footfall, grow engagement and more.


The Beijing Easyhome deal is the fourth major investment that the e-commerce giant has made in a brick and mortar chain. Last year, it bought major holdings in hypermarket firm Sun Art ($2.9 billion) and shopping mall operator InTime ($2.6 billion). Prior to that, it invested in high-profile electronics retailer Suning ($4.6 billion) having bought an initial stake in InTime back in 2014.


The company has also made its own move independently through its Hema supermarket chain, which was one of the early adopters of cashier-less checkouts.


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Alibaba to take US$486 million stake in China retail data firm

The e-commerce giant will take 38 per cent of Shiji Retail Information Technology in further push towards ‘new retail’



via South China Morning Post - 12 February, 2018


Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post


China’s biggest e-commerce company, Alibaba Group Holding, will invest US$486 million for a stake in a domestic big-data firm focused on hotels and retail, as part of a push to deepen its offline presence.


The firm will buy a 38 per cent stake in Shiji Retail Information Technology Co via its subsidiary Alibaba Investment Ltd, Shiji’s listed parent said in a filing to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange on Thursday.


The deal is part of a “new retail” strategic cooperation, the parent company, Beijing Shiji Information Technology Co, said, referring to a shift by Alibaba and rivals to leverage big data to shake up China’s huge but stalling retail market.


Alibaba has been strengthening its retail presence with more than US$10 billion of investments into bricks-and-mortar outlets amid rising competition in the space from rival Tencent Holdings.


Alibaba did not...