E-commerce

JD.com looks to rival Alibaba’s physical presence

Leading online retailer pays $190 million for a 46% stake in China’s third-largest electronics retailer as it aims to strengthen its physical network in its battle with its bigger rival.

JD.com said on Thursday that it will invest Rmb1.27 billion $190 million in China’s third-largest electronics retailer as part of a broader effort to bolster its physical presence in third- and fourth-tier cities.

The Nasdaq-listed e-commerce firm said it will acquire a 46% stake in Jiangsu Five Star Appliance, commonly known as 5Star, from real estate developer Jiayuan International, becoming its second-largest shareholder. Jiayuan, which is also based in Jiangsu province in eastern China, remains the largest shareholder with a 47% stake.

Hooking up with 5Star is the latest move by JD.com, China’s second-largest online retailer by revenue, to build a physical network to...

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