Alibaba pays $3.6bn to take over China hypermarket giant SunArt

Alibaba pays $3.6bn to take over China hypermarket giant SunArt

Alibaba has taken control of SunArt which runs hundreds of hypermarkets in China as it expands its grip on the mainland retail sector.
Alibaba has taken control of SunArt which runs hundreds of hypermarkets in China as it expands its grip on the mainland retail sector.

PARIS: China's e-commerce behemoth Alibaba has bought a controlling $3.6 billion stake in SunArt which runs hundreds of hypermarkets on the mainland for French shopping giant Auchan.

The move to take a 72% holding in SunArt tightens Alibaba's grip on China's vast e-commerce sector as it looks to soak up the new customers pushed online to buy groceries, fresh food and healthcare products by the coronavirus.

It also hands over control of 13 million square metres of retail space in scores of cities across the country.

SunArt was created by Auchan in 2000 with Ruentex Group and joined in an "alliance" with Alibaba in 2017.

That tie-in gave the Chinese firm ownership of around a third of the hypermaket company.

Alibaba quickly set about transforming SunArt from a traditional bricks-and-mortar hypermarket to an online groceries hub, matching its wider e-commerce goods business.

"Sun Art has made significant progress in the digital transformation," Alibaba said in a statement Monday announcing its $3.6 billion investment.

The supermarket chain has since been "leveraging resources and technology from the Alibaba ecosystem."

The buyout of SunArt will boost a promise to deliver groceries within 30-60 minutes of being ordered over Alibaba's Tmall platform, the statement added.

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (3)

Exports seen flat or down in Nov y/y: shippers

Thailand's exports may be flat or fall by 1% to 2% in November from a year earlier following a drop in October, as global demand slowed, the national shippers group said on Tuesday.

10:33

Indonesia bill barring extramarital sex gets renewed debate

Indonesian lawmakers are forging ahead with plans to change the nation’s criminal code to effectively outlaw extramarital sex and increase penalties on women who have abortions as part of legislation that sparked violent protests when introduced in 2019.

10:20

10 Myanmar migrants, 2 Thais injured in road accident

AYUTTHAYA: Ten Myanmar illegal migrants and two elderly Thai people were injured when a pickup overturned in Phak Hai district early on Tuesday, police said.

10:04