(Yicai Global) Oct. 12 -- Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com Inc. [NASDAQ:JD] will team up with US retail behemoth Wal-Mart Stores Inc. [NYSE:WMT] to improve supply chain integration and explore the development of offline stores, said Wal-Mart Stores China President Chen Wenyuan.
The two companies currently operate four stores through their cooperation, in the form of JD.com's retail experience locations and franchised stores.
Wal-Mart sold its Chinese e-commerce business Yihaodian to JD.com in June last year for USD1.5 billion and a five percent stake in the firm.
"The deal to sell Yihaodian was reached quickly, indicating both sides have seen each other's great value," said Chen Ke, partner and vice president of strategic consultancy Roland Berger Greater China. From Wal-Mart's point of view, the cost just doing e-commerce in China is high, so it's better to find a professional domestic e-commerce partner."
"By developing its e-commerce business JD.com, Wal-Mart has actively gained mutual access to inventory and customers," he added.
"JD.com's plan could be even more far-reaching. E-commerce businesses increasingly need an offline presence, and through Wal-Mart, JD.com can roll out more physical stores and the two sides can gain mutual access to customers and brand marketing," Chen said.
It's important that JD.com can quickly gain access to the international market through Wal-Mart, he added. It can take advantage of Wal-Mart's market advantages and platform layout in the US; directly expanding its e-commerce business overseas should be one of the firm's main goals.
"JD.com has recently been looking for joint venture opportunities in Thailand's retail sector, with the intention of expanding overseas," Chen said.