NEW YORK (AP) — Alibaba is taking a 20 percent stake in Chinese electronics store chain Suning in a move that helps the Chinese e-commerce powerhouse expand in the brick-and-mortar arena.
Alibaba said Monday that it will invest 28.3 billion Chinese yuan ($4.63 billion) to become the largest shareholder in the company. Alibaba said the companies will collaborate on e-commerce, logistics and other businesses. Suning will open a flagship store on Alibaba's Tmall.com platform.
Alibaba will also be able to use Suning's logistics network, which covers 90 percent of China's countries, including eight national distribution centers, 57 regional distribution centers, 353 city forwarding centers and 1,700 delivery stations.
"Over the past two decades, e-commerce has become an inextricable part of the lives of Chinese consumers, and this new alliance brings forth a new commerce model that fully integrates online and offline," said CEO Jack Ma.
Suning operates more than 1,600 chain stores in 600 cities in China, Hong Kong and Japan.