Walmart announced it has acquired the remaining shares in Yihaodian, taking full ownership of its ecommerce business in China, according to a press release. Wang Lu, president and CEO of Global Ecommerce in Asia for Walmart will take on all responsibilities.
With the full ownership, Walmart plans to invest in both accelerating ecommerce and creating a seamless experience for customers across online, mobile and stores. Walmart, who had previously owned 51% of Yihaodian, acquired the remaining shares from Ping An in China, a financial services group.
Co-founders and former chairman Gang Yu and former CEO Junling Liu announced earlier this month they were leaving Yihaodian, but would serve as chairman emeritus and strategic executive advisor to ensure a smooth transition.
“Yihaodian has excelled as one of China’s top ecommerce businesses. We’re excited about the team of Yihaodian and their strong local ecommerce experience,” said Neil Ashe, president and CEO of Walmart Global Ecommerce in the press release.
“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, Ashe added. “Our investment in Yihaodian is part of our long-term commitment to grow in China, and we look forward to continuing to play a positive role in the development of the ecommerce industry.”
Yihaodian will continue to operate under its existing name and will continue to focus on the needs of the consumers in China. Yihaodian and Ping An of China will maintain a commercial relationship that includes joint marketing efforts.