Walmart takes over Yihaodian e-commerce business in China

July 23, 2015 - China

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has announced that it has acquired the outstanding shares in Yihaodian, taking full ownership of its fast-growing e-commerce business in China. Wang Lu, president and CEO of Walmart Global e-commerce in Asia, will lead Yihaodian as part of his overall executive responsibilities, Walmart said in a statement.

With full ownership of Yihaodian, Walmart plans to invest in both accelerating e-commerce and creating a seamless experience for customers across online, mobile and stores.

Walmart, which previously held approximately 51 per cent 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. Walmart’s planned investments are included in the company’s previously announced e-commerce budget, the statement said.

“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 e-commerce. “This local experience, combined with Walmart’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.”

Yihaodian will continue operating under its existing name and will maintain its focus on having strong local leadership with a clear understanding of the needs of online consumers in China.

Wang Lu brings extensive experience in the digital space in China, with a strong understanding of how consumers shop on the web and through mobile. Prior to joining Walmart Global eCommerce, Wang Lu was responsible for managing CBS Interactive in China, including the IT group, Auto group, Women & Fashion group and Lifestyle group.

Yihaodian and Ping An of China will maintain a commercial relationship that includes joint marketing efforts. (SH)