After its investment in 360buy.com in December last year, Walmart has moved to invest another Chinese e-commerce site. This time around, the investment falls on Yihaodian, a fast growing e-commerce site in China. The deal is expected to close within 60 days with the amount invested undisclosed.
Launched in July 2008, Yihaodian offers more than 75,000 SKUs online. With 2,000 employees and an existing logistics network based in Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou, Yihaodian is serving a growing customer base with next-day delivery of essential daily items at competitive prices.
Eduardo Castro-Wright, vice chairman, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and CEO of Walmart Global eCommerce and Global Sourcing, said in the statement, “We are excited about this investment. Online sales in China are growing rapidly and are projected to match U.S. online sales in the next few years. By investing in Yihaodian, we’re continuing to establish a presence in this important eCommerce market, and are moving forward on fulfilling our aspiration of being the leading global multichannel retailer.”
Ever since setting up its first Chinese retail store in 1996, Walmart always sees China as an important part of its business portfolio. In November 2004, Walmart donated (pdf) $1 billion to Tsinghua University to establish China’s first-ever institute for retailing research. In 2006, Walmart acquired Trust-Mart for $1 billion, which by far, is one of the most important expansion efforts by the retail giant in China. Walmart’s efforts have spilled over online with recent investments in 360buy.com and Yihaodian.com