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)

Russia says oil price cap will not stop Ukraine offensive

MOSCOW: Russia shrugged off a Western-imposed price cap on its oil exports on Monday, warning that it would not disrupt its military campaign in Ukraine.

5 Dec 2022

Iran activists brush off claim morality police abolished

PARIS: Campaigners backing Iran's protest movement on Monday dismissed a claim that the Islamic republic is disbanding its notorious morality police, insisting there was no change to its restrictive dress rules for women.

5 Dec 2022

Singapore braces for fresh Covid wave, 'new variants of concern' from China

More Covid-19 infections and a new coronavirus wave are expected amid an increase in year-end travel and as more people take part in the festivities, but it will not be something that Singapore has not experienced, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said.

5 Dec 2022