Alibaba goes country with $715m rural e-commerce bet

E-commerce titan aims to deepen penetration in China’s less-developed regions via its investment in Huitongda, an online shopping site targeting the rural market.

Alibaba goes country with $715m rural e-commerce bet

Jack Ma is taking his e-commerce ambitions somewhere new China's vast rural hinterland.

Alibaba, already the dominant e-commerce player across urban China, is now looking to tap into the unexploited area of rural e-commerce. It has paid Rmb4.5 billion $715 million for a stake in Huitongda, a privately-owned online shopping platform that targets customers located in rural parts of the country.

Huitongda’s owner, Jiangsu Five Star Appliances, did not...

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