Wanda and Tencent join forces for omnichannel retail
Dalian Wanda Group and Tencent Holdings Ltd will join forces to set up an internet technology firm, strengthening their position in retail.
Dalian Wanda, which Is the largest property developer in China, will own 51% of the venture and Tencent 42.48%, with the remaining 6.52% going to Gaopeng, a joint venture between Groupon and Tencent.
The project combines technology and brick-and-mortar retail and it is hoped that developing an omnichannel offering will help the businesses compete in New Retail, a space in which Alibaba is currently the world leader.
The president of the new JV firm will be Qi Jie, president of Dalian Wanda Commercial Group Management, and both Tencent and Gaopeng can also each appoint a CEO.
Wanda is to contribute part of its ffan.com business into the new venture. The ffan.com subsidiary provides software infrastructure for retailers, including wifi and online shopping platforms.
Wanda said in a statement: “The cooperation aims to integrate these three firms’ resources. It will help the digital upgrade of Wanda’s shopping centres to develop smart stores to better connect shopping centres, shop owners and customers. We all hope to explore the huge customer market in the new retail era.”
Currently, Dalian Wanda operates around 235 shopping plazas across China.