Walmart said Thursday that it has taken full ownership of China’s quick-growing e-commerce business, Yihaodian, upping its stake to 100 percent from a previous 51 percent acquired in 2012. Walmart acquired the remaining shares from financial services group Ping An of China and the company’s co-founders, former chairman Gang Yu and former CEO Junling Liu.
And now that it has full ownership, Walmart said it will invest in accelerating e-commerce and creating a seamless experience for its customers across all channels.
“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,” president and CEO of Walmart Global ecommerce Neil Ashe, said. “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.”
The e-commerce company was founded in 2008 and now offers more than 8 million products in categories including: food and beverage, imported food, nutrition and health care, personal care, mother and baby care, home goods, consumer electronics, clothing and gift cards. Yihaodian currently has 100 million registered consumers, over half of which are under 30 years old.
Wang Lu, president and CEO of Walmart Global eCommerce in Asia, will lead Yihaodian and the founders will stay on, with Yu serving as chairman emeritus and Liu as strategic executive advisor.
The company will still operate under the Yihaodian name and stay focused on understanding the needs of China’s online consumers.
“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,” Ashe said.