Alibaba reinforces ecommerce crown with Sun Art acquisition
Chinese tech giant Alibaba has expanded its ecommerce empire with the acquisition of fellow Chinese supermarket Sun Art Retail Group.
Alibaba’s main businesses are its ecommerce site Alibaba.com, Taobao and Tmall, but its interests are vast, stretching from electronic payments to AI and numerous other services.
Alibaba has put $3.6bn into the deal, which will see it acquire 70.94% of Sun Art, raising its total stake to approximately 72%.
The dela builds on an earlier alliance that saw the digitalisation of stores as part of its “New Retail” vision, which involves digitalised customer experiences and a focus on omnichannel approaches, a of modern retail environments.
In a press release, Daniel Zhang, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group, said: “Alibaba’s strategic investment in Sun Art in 2017 was an important step in our New Retail strategy. The alliance we formed with Auchan Retail and Ruentex was instrumental in building a robust infrastructure to create opportunities and value in China’s retail sector. Led by Chief Executive Officer Peter Huang, Sun Art has achieved impressive results in its digitalization, and pursued promising synergies with businesses across the Alibaba digital economy. As the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the digitalisation of consumer lifestyles and enterprise operations, this commitment to Sun Art serves to strengthen our New Retail vision and serve more consumers with a fully integrated experience.”
Zhang succeeded the company’s former leader Jack Ma, and has kept a lower profile than his predecessor. Ma is well known as one of China’s richest people, and bowed out of the company last year with at the company’s 20th birthday event.
Alibaba is fast approaching its Singles Day sale, the most lucrative of its kind on the planet. Last year, the gross merchandise volume came to , dwarfing that made by western competitors such as Amazon with its Prime Day sale.