Alibaba, Tencent rally troops amid $10 billion retail battle

Tencent also bought a stake in Yonghui Superstores Co Ltd, apparel retailers Vipshop Holdings Ltd in addition to Heilan Home, mall operator Wanda Commercial, in addition to This particular month snagged a strategic tie-up with grocer Bubugao.

inside the various other corner is usually Alibaba, which has invested even more heavily in Suning.com>, Intime Retail, Sanjiang Shopping Club, Lianhua Supermarket, Wanda Film in addition to IKEA-like home
improvement store Easyhome.

Key to the battle is usually China’s nearly $13 trillion mobile payment market, where Alibaba in addition to Tencent are going head-to-head. Alibaba took a 33 percent stake in its payment affiliate Ant Financial This particular month ahead of an expected mega IPO.

Ant operates China’s top mobile payment platform, Alipay, while Tencent’s payment system on its hugely common Weixin chat app is usually catching up fast. Both firms are also producing a big push in cloud computing in addition to data.

“I think for payment (the retail push) is usually a very critical part because This particular’s almost a gateway,” said Yu. Brick-in addition to-mortar stores in China account for about 85 percent of retail sales, creating a huge lure for tech giants.

“in which’s the pot in which Alibaba, JD.com in addition to even Tencent want a slice of,” Yu added. “in which’s the majority of the business where they can actually look for future growth.”

In return, the physical stores get access to payment systems, logistics networks in addition to various other services – not to mention the reams of data on consumers in which the tech firms control.

Alibaba invested $486 million This particular month in a retail-focused big data firm, saying the deal meant This particular could better “help brick-in addition to-mortar retailers succeed inside the digital age.”

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