is taking control of China’s largest hypermarket operator
Sun Art Retail Group
from the French billionaire Mulliez family, boosting its stranglehold on ecommerce as the Covid-19 pandemic intensifies efforts to integrate online and offline shopping,” reported
South China Morning Post
Alibaba will invest US$3.6 billion to boost its stake in Sun Art Retailing to 72% by acquiring a 70.9% share in A-RT Retail Holdings, which owns 51% of the hypermarket. It is controlled by French multinational retail group Auchan Holding owned by the Mulliez family.
Sun Art – which operates hypermarket brands Auchan and RT-Mart – has a total of 484 outlets across China as of June. It previously received US$22.4 billion from Alibaba for a 36% stake.
“As the Covid-19 pandemic is accelerating the digitalization 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,” said Alibaba chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang.
The Chinese tech giant said it has integrated all of Sun Art’s physical stores into its platform. Through this, it will provide on-demand delivery with the help of other Alibaba businesses, such as online food delivery platform Ele.me and logistics subsidiary Cainiao.
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