(Yicai Global) March 23 -- Suning.Com Co., China's biggest mass retailer of household electronics, builds on its participation in the mixed-ownership reform of state-backed telecoms giant China United Network Communications Ltd., better known as China Unicom, earlier this year with a deal to work on the smart upgrade of the mobile network operator's retail stores.
Nanjing-based Suning.Com will assist in upgrading a batch of the carrier's outlets nationwide using its expertise in supply chain management, store operations and customer service, it said in a statement.
Suning.Com became an investor in the Beijing-based Unicom following its mixed ownership reform initiative earlier this year, taking a 1.94 percent stake. Some of China's leading players from the world of technology also took part in the reform, including Baidu Inc., Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Tencent Holdings Ltd. and JD.com Inc., collectively known as BATJ.
The two parties will also work together on precision marketing and third-party payment channels in fields such as Big Data and finance, while also establishing a joint 5G technology lab to research the cutting-edge technology's applications in intelligence home devices and the Internet of Vehicles.
China Unicom Chairman Wang Xiaochu expressed a keen interest in Suning.Com's community retail model used at its Suning Xiaodian stores during a signing ceremony for the agreement, while Suning.Com Chairman Zhang Jindong expressed that there are multiple areas for potential cooperation between two firms including Big Data, content and technology.
Taking content as an example, Suning.com acquired a 44 percent stake in China's leading video streaming platform PPTV, operated by Shanghai Synacast Media Tech. Co., in 2013 making it the firm's largest shareholder. China Unicom launched its own streaming service Wo TV in 2016 to provide users with a free-data video platform. The two sides could explore synergies between the two platforms in the future.