- Angela Gonzalez-Rodriguez |
Wanda E-commerce, the online business of Dalian Wanda Group, has received 1 billion yuan (161 million dollars) funding from Alibaba’s direct competitors Tencent and Baidu. According to Wanda Group, the investment values 4-month-old Wanda E-commerce at 20 billion yuan (3.22 billion dollars).
Dalian Wanda Group Co. Ltd., one of China’s largest operators of shopping malls and department stores, received the investment for its online retailer unit, Wanda E-commerce, from two Chinese investment funds, Centec Networks and Xude Rendao, which now hold a 3 percent and 2 percent equity interest in Wanda E-commerce, respectively.
Wanda E-commerce: a cross-channel platform to fight dominant Alibaba
Wanda E-commerce was established in Hong Kong in August 2014 and supported by Wanda Group and other two Chinese Internet giants, Tencent and Baidu, both rivals of China’s dominant e-commerce company, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
Dalian Wanda controls a 70 percent stake in Wanda E-commerce, while Tencent and Baidu each hold a 15 percent stake. The three companies say they plan to invest 20 billion yuan (3.22 billion dollars) over the next five years, with a focus on winning sales from consumers both online and in bricks-and-mortar stores, a cross-channel strategy often seen in China.
Wanda Group says Wanda E-commerce is building a new cross channel e-commerce system, which includes free wireless network coverage in Wanda 159 shopping malls in China, and several mobile apps designed to drive more traffic to those malls.
“We hope our cross-channel e-commerce system can improve consumers’ shopping experiences. The system can help Wanda connect offline and online channels more closely. For example, consumers can make reservations on their mobile phone before they enter our restaurants. Also, fashion consumers can visually see the results of wearing the clothes through smartphones and pay directly via their phones,” says Wang Jianli, the founder and chairman of Wanda.
Wanda Group plans to launch this new system by the fourth quarter of 2015, the company says.