Jiangsu Financial Herald, 4/17/18
Chinese internet conglomerate Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA) and Five Star Holding Group recently announced a strategic partnership, according to which Alibaba will invest RMB 4.5 bln in Jiangsu-based rural-user-facing appliances B2B e-commerce marketplace operator Huitongda Network Holdings, a subsidiary of Five Star Holding Group. The parties will explore opportunities for rural "new retail" business models, empower rural business organizations, and develop new rural business ecosystems.
The parties will cooperate deeply in the supply, distribution channel, storage and logistics, and technology and systems domains to provide a variety of services for the rural market including brand promotion, ordering platform, new retail system, Alibaba cloud platform, and logistics system solutions services, to boost rural commercial infrastructure.
Huitongda was established in December 2010 and operates as an agricultural ecosystem e-commerce company. Its operations cover 18 provinces and more than 15,000 towns and it has served more than 80,000 small town stores. Its service network supports more than 67 mln rural families and covers a rural population of more than 200 mln people. Huitongda has previously completed four funding rounds to raise a total of RMB 1.8 bln, and is currently valued at over RMB 10 bln.
Editor's Note: Huitongda partners with stores in towns and villages, where customers can buy household appliances procured from its platform with the help of partnering stores. It started as a retailer of household appliances, but has since expanded into rural finance, farming equipment, electric vehicles, beverages and other related areas. For more background, please see:
Rural B2B E-commerce Platform 'Huitongda' Wins RMB 500 Mln Funding, MD 12/22/17 issue;
Rural B2B E-commerce Platform 'Huitongda' Raises RMB 300 Mln Funding, MD 6/28/16 issue;
Household Appliance Rural B2B E-commerce Platform 'Huitongda' Wins Series A+, MD 12/29/15 issue;