Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has acquired the outstanding shares in Yihaodian, taking full ownership of its fast-growing e-commerce business in China, according to a release from the retail giant on Wednesday evening (July 23).
Wang Lu, president and CEO of Walmart Global eCommerce in Asia, will lead Yihaodian as part of his overall executive responsibilities.
With full ownership of Yihaodian, Wal-Mart plans to invest in accelerating e-commerce and creating a seamless experience for customers across online, mobile and stores.
Wal-Mart, which previously held approximately 51% of Yihaodian, acquired the remaining shares from Ping An of China, a financial services group, and the co-founders, former Chairman Gang Yu and former CEO Junling Liu. The two co-founders announced earlier this month that they are leaving Yihaodian, and will continue to serve as chairman emeritus and strategic executive advisor, respectively, to ensure a smooth transition and contribute to the future success of Yihaodian.
Wal-Mart’s planned investments are included in the company’s previously announced e-commerce budget.
“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,” said Neil Ashe, president and CEO of Walmart Global eCommerce. “This local experience, combined with Wal-Mart’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. 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."
“We thank Gang and Junling for their entrepreneurship and innovation, and for creating a world-class foundation and team to lead Yihaodian going forward,” Ashe added.