Walmart, JD.com invest $682m in Chinese firm

BEIJING/SHANGHAI • Dada-JD Daojia, a Chinese online grocery and delivery firm, yesterday said it has raised US$500 million (S$682 million) from Walmart and JD.com in its latest round of financing.

The firm comprises two businesses and is partly owned by JD.com. Dada operates a network of five million delivery personnel, while JD Daojia partners retail stores and provides one-hour delivery services of groceries and other items.

Walmart said it invested about US$320 million in the latest fund raising.

Their partnership dates back to 2016 when Walmart invested US$50 million, the company said, adding that at present, 200 Walmart stores in 30 major Chinese cities have a presence in JD Daojia.

"We are confident that this deeper collaboration with Dada-JD Daojia will enhance our omni-channel footprint and deliver a better O2O (online to offline) customer experience," said Walmart China president and chief executive officer Wern-Yuen Tan.

The global retail giant has been pushing to integrate its retail network in China with the country's burgeoning "smart retail" movement, as retailers and tech giants such as Alibaba Group and Tencent cut deals to combine shoppers' online and offline experience.

Earlier this year, Walmart said it opened its first small high-tech supermarket in the southern city of Shenzhen, which will stock products that customers will also be able to buy on the American retailer's store on JD Daojia.

The stores are competing with Alibaba's Hema to provide fast delivery of groceries to customers.

Alibaba is China's top e-commerce player, while Tencent is strong in social media and gaming and has, along with Walmart, a considerable stake in No. 2 online retailer JD.com.

Alibaba and Tencent have between them splashed over US$10 billion on retail-focused deals, boosting their reach offline. Their moves mean there are few brick-and-mortar sellers without an allegiance to one or the other.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 10, 2018, with the headline 'Walmart, JD.com invest $682m in Chinese firm'. Print Edition | Subscribe