BENTONVILLE, Ark., Oct. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Walmart announced today the completion of its increased investment in the holding company of Yihaodian, a fast-growing e-commerce business in China, bringing Walmart's total ownership stake to approximately 51 percent.
Walmart's additional investment will help Yihaodian continue its growth, and better positions Walmart to serve Chinese customers through e-commerce. Launched in July 2008, Yihaodian has been growing at a rapid pace together with the e-commerce market of China, which is expected to be nearly as large as the U.S. e-commerce market in 2016. Yihaodian already has 24 million registered users, and offers same-day delivery to customers in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai, and next-day delivery to customers in over 100 cities in China.
Neil Ashe, President and CEO of Walmart Global eCommerce, said, "We are excited to complete this investment and to further deliver on Walmart's mission to help customers in China save money and live better. China represents a very important part of Walmart's global investment in e-commerce, and we appreciate the strong support and cooperation we received from the Chinese government. This investment demonstrates we are committed to the development of e-commerce in China and bringing the best possible shopping experience to Chinese customers."
Ashe added: "We chose to invest in Yihaodian because, like Walmart, they are committed to providing outstanding service to their customers, and we are impressed with Yihaodian's strong management team, and solid competence in distribution. Together we will focus on serving an emerging middle class in China. Yihaodian will gain access to cutting-edge capabilities and technology from Walmart that can be offered to customers in China, and Yihaodian will offer expertise and capabilities that benefit our other businesses and customers worldwide."
Yihaodian Co-Founder and Chairman Gang Yu said, "Our highly competitive supply chain management systems and extensive operational experience have given us an edge in the market here in China. We believe that through our strategic relationship with Walmart, we will be able to leverage their deep insights and significant expertise to further advance our network and excel even more rapidly, ultimately providing a superb experience for our customers."
Yihaodian Co-Founder and CEO Junling Liu said, "More than an investment of funds, Walmart not only brings us over 50 years of retailing experience, but also offers innovative technology, e-commerce solutions and world-leading excellence in supply-chain management. By leveraging these synergies with our local market expertise, we believe this partnership will allow us to deliver enhanced product offerings, lower prices and a better shopping experience for our customers."
Ruisheng Sheng, spokesperson for Ping An Group, said, "Ping An welcomes the investment from Walmart. We continue to be a strategic investor in this exciting e-commerce business. With Walmart's and Ping An's strategic partnership and with the vision and leadership of the current management, we believe that Yihaodian will better serve Chinese customers."
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, more than 200 million customers and members visit our 10,300 stores under 69 banners in 27 countries and e-commerce websites in 10 countries. With fiscal year 2012 sales of approximately $444 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com, and on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.
Launched in 2008, Yihaodian is one of the leading B2C e-commerce companies in China. Selling hundreds of thousands of products throughout China, Yihaodian has been recognized as China's fastest growing ecommerce company by Deloitte's Technology Fast500 Asia Pacific and recognized as a Future Star of China Enterprises in 2011 by China Entrepreneur Magazine. Through a relentless pursuit of innovation, Yihaodian is committed to offering a vast selection of products at low prices and a superior customer experience enabling its customers to enjoy a modern lifestyle. For more information, please visit www.yihaodian.com.
About Ping An
Ping An is China's first joint stock insurance company. Today, it is an integrated, compact, multi-functional financial services group with services that include insurance, banking, and investment. The Group has approximately 490,000 life insurance sales agents, 175,136 full-time employees and over 74 million clients. As at 30 June 2012, the Group's consolidated total assets and equity attributable to shareholders of the parent company amounted to RMB2,644.99 billion and RMB146.76 billion, respectively. Both Ping An Life and Ping An Property & Casualty are ranked the second largest in China in their respective areas in terms of premium income.
Ping An was ranked 100th in Forbes' Global 2000 league table, and 242nd in 2012 U.S. Fortune Magazine's Global 500 Leading Companies ranking and 1st among China's non-state-owned enterprises. Apart from these accolades, Ping An ranked 78th among in WPP Millward Brown's BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands rankings.