Tencent plans retail push via Yonghui Superstores

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Tencent comany name is displayed at a news conference in Hong Kong, China March 17, 2016.  Photo: Reuters/Bobby Yip

Chinese Internet giant Tencent is marching into the offline retail market. The company plans to buy a 5% stake in Yonghui Superstores, a domestic department store operator, Caixin reported.

The company will also secure a 15% stake of Yonghui’s supply chain and logistics subsidiary via a capital increase. Yonghui said the investment is still in the preliminary planning stage.

A source in Yonghui’s senior management team said once the deal is settled, Yonghui will introduce WeChat Pay, Tencent’s self-developed online payment method. The superstore will then benefit from the customer traffic generated by WeChat users.

Meanwhile, Tencent has developed a new payment scenario for WeChat Pay to compete with Alipay, Alibaba’s digital wallet.

Earlier last month, Alibaba expanded its investment in brick-and-mortar retail by buying into Sun Art Retail Group, one of China’s major grocery chains. 

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