Wal-Mart has acquired the outstanding shares in Yihaodian, taking full ownership of its e-commerce business in China.
With full ownership of Yihaodian, Walmart plans to invest in both accelerating e-commerce and creating a seamless experience for customers across online, mobile and stores, the company stated. Walmart, which previously held about 51% of Yihaodian, acquired the remaining shares from Ping An of China, a financial services group, and the co-founders, former chairman Gang Yu and former CEO Junling Liu. The two co-founders announced earlier this month that they are leaving Yihaodian. They will continue to serve as chairman emeritus and strategic executive advisor respectively in a transitional period.
As part of the initiative, Walmart stated that Wang Lu, president and CEO of Walmart global e-commerce in Asia, will lead Yihaodian as part of his overall executive responsibilities.
“Yihaodian has excelled as one of China’s top e-commerce businesses. We’re excited about the team at Yihaodian and their strong local e-commerce experience,” said Neil Ashe, president and CEO of Walmart global e-commerce. “This local experience, combined with Walmart’s global sourcing and our strong local retail presence and supply chain will allow us to deliver low prices on the products customers need in new and exciting ways. Our investment in Yihaodian is part of our long-term commitment to grow in China, and we look forward to continuing to play a positive role in the development of the e-commerce industry.”
The retailer also stated that Yihaodian will continue operating under its existing name, and will maintain a commercial relationship with Ping An of China that will include joint marketing efforts.