Wanda E-commerce is now valued $3 billion (20 billion yuan) after receiving $161 million (1 billion yuan) new funding from investment funds,Shengke Limited and Hong Kong Xu De Ren Dao E-commerce Investment Co., Ltd.
Chinese billionaires Robin Li, chairman and CEO of Baidu Inc (BIDU); Wang Jianlin, chairman of Wanda Group and Pony Ma, chairman and CEO of Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700) partnered in establishing Wanda E-commerce to challenge the dominance of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA).
Shengke Limited acquired 3% stake while Hong Kong Xu De Ren Dao E-commerce Investment Co., Ltd purchased 2% stake in Wanda E-commerce. The company said its investors expressed confidence with the Wanda-Tencent-Baidu partnership and their online-to offline business model.
Wanda E-commerce has an initial capital of 5 billion yuan, which means its valuation quadrupled in just four months since its establishment in August last year. Wanda Group owns 70% stake while Tencent Holdings and Baidu each hold 15% stake in the e-commerce company.
Wanda E-commerce to be fully operational in 4Q15
Wanda Group expected Wanda E-commerce to be fully operational in the fourth quarter of 2015. The company emphasized that the e-commerce sector is significant as it is one of its four core businesses.
The group recently acquired a controlling stake in 99Bill, an online payment platform to boost its e-commerce and finance related business.
Wanda Group said Wanda E-commerce will take off with a strong online-to-offline business model as it will be integrated with its online payment platform, free Wi-fi coverage and pilot beacon technology (testing completed), large data center and dozens of O2O software (under development)
The biggest cake in e-commerce
Wanda Group Chairman Wang believed that online-to-offline business is the future of the retail industry in China. He previously emphasized that there is no true O2O business in the country.
“Online-to-offline is the biggest cake in e-commerce. There’s no true online-to-offline platform in China and, in this situation, everyone’s chances are equal,” said Wang in a previous statement.
Wanda Group is the largest developer of retail shopping centers in China. It has more than 100 Wanda Plaza malls in the country.The company describes its network of malls as the “largest offline platform in China.” The group expects around 1.5 billion visitors to its shopping centers this year.