Walmart plans on digital growth in China

Feb. 20, 2012 at 1:31 PM

BEIJING, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Walmart Stores Inc. said it planned to increase its holding of Chinese e-commerce firm Yihaodian from 18 percent to 51 percent if approval is granted.

The deal is contingent on Chinese government approval, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

"We are very impressed with Yihaodian's strong management team, solid competence in supply chain management and, like Walmart, they are committed to outstanding service to their customers," said Neil Ashe, president and chief executive of Walmart's global e-commerce division in a statement.

Projections suggest e-commence in China is on the verge of a growth spurt. A research firm I Beijing, Analysys International forecasts e-commerce in China will grow 500 percent in the next two years.

Meanwhile, Walmart's brick and mortar stores in China saw sales in the third quarter of 2011 rise 6 percent over sales in the third quarter of 2010.

Customer traffic, however, fell 7 percent in the same period.

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