Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has nearly doubled its stake in Chinese second-largest online retailer JD.com, as it continues to get more exposure in e-commerce.
The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company said that it increased its holding in JD.com to 10.8 percent from 5.9 percent, according to an amended 13-G filing on Thursday. The shares don’t have extra voting power.
The move come about four months after Wal-Mart agreed to sell its Chinese e-commerce site Yihaodian to JD.com, in exchange for a 5 percent stake in the Chinese company. Considering the difficulty for foreign companies to operate in China, this may be a better way to expand its online business in China.
“The stepped-up investment in JD has been part of our plan, as we continue to be a passive investor. We believe this strategic alliance will help us grow e-commerce even faster in China,” a Wal-Mart spokeswoman said.
Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, has been struggling to boost sales as more and more people turn to shop online. The company is trying to developing its online platforms to compete with Amazon. In September, it completed its deal to buy US online retailer Jet.com for $3 billion in cash plus $300 million in stock.
Wal-Mart also sees in China’s e-commerce market. China has surpassed the U.S. as the world’s largest e-commerce market. Last year, China’s online retail spending reached $589 billion, compared with $334 billion in the U.S., according The Wall Street Journal.