Alibaba to plough $5b in Suning retail chain

By agreeing to take a 20% stake in the brick-and-mortar home electronics retailer, the e-commerce giant is banking on the success of the online-to-offline business model.
China’s internet behemoth Alibaba is spending Rmb28.3 billion $4.63 billion for a 19.99% stake in Suning Commerce Group, a conventional consumer electronics retailer, extending the e-commerce giant’s strategy of taking equity in brick-and-mortar stores to strengthen its online retail business.
 
At the same time, Nanjing-based Suning will deploy about Rmb14 billion $2.28 billion to buy 27.8 million new shares of Alibaba, representing a 1.1% stake in the Jack Ma-controlled company.
 
When the deal is done, Alibaba will be the second biggest shareholder of Suning.
 
The strategic partnership between Alibaba and Suning underscores...
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