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February 21, 2017

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Alibaba and Bailian tie up to develop new retail formats

ALIBABA Group and Shanghai-based retail conglomerate Bailian Group announced a strategic alliance yesterday to develop new retail formats.

The two companies will share resources such as offline retail branches, merchandising capability, logistics facilities and Internet technologies.

“We hope Alibaba and our partners would continue to leverage the Internet, data and payment capability to create new value for consumers,” said Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang.

The partnership intends to bring in new customers, to offer new retail experience and to boost new technology development, Zhang added.

The two partners are also expected to design new retail outlets and to research and develop retail technology, customer relationship management and payment system.

Alibaba’s payment affiliate Alipay is set to be integrated with Bailian’s prepaid card service to offer more convenience for shoppers to pay their online and offline shopping. But no specific timetable has been released for the service launch.

The news of the tie-up, which does not involve capital investment, lifted shares of Shanghai-listed Bailian Group by the daily cap of 10 percent.

Ye Yongming, chairman and president of Bailian Group, said the two parties aim to lead a new wave of retail formats and blaze a trail in restructuring for retail business.

Cao Lei, director of consultancy China E-commerce Research Center, said: “It’s an inevitable choice for both online and offline retailers to seek new growth potential by working together.”

Alibaba’s other ventures in offline retail include its share swap deal with Suning Commerce Group and a privatization deal to acquire department store chain Intime.


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