Walmart Announces Strategic Investment in Major Chinese eCommerce Business

On Friday, global retail giant Wal-Mart announced plans to acquire a minority stake in the holding company of Yihaodian, a large Chinese-based ecommerce company.

According to Wal-Mart, the deal will likely close within 60 days.

Financial specifics were not disclosed in the announcement. Nonetheless, Wal-Mart’s investment of cash and faith couldn’t come at a better time for Yihaodian. As Tech Crunch noted today, Facebook, Groupon and Zynga investor DST is among the latest in a new group of investors to infuse “hundreds of millions of dollars” into Yihaodian rival

Launched in July 2008, Yihaodian offers more than 75,000 SKUs and has achieved a significant position in online grocery sales, as well as in categories such as baby/Mom, consumer electronics and apparel. 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.

“We are excited about this investment,” says Eduardo Castro-Wright, CEO of Walmart Global eCommerce. “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.”

Gang Yu, co-founder chairman of Yihaodian, added” “We are very excited about Walmart’s investment in Yihaodian. Walmart brings its global vision into our business. In addition, its supply chain excellence will help us gain a competitive edge in the eCommerce industry in China.”