Wanda Commercial Signs Strategic Investment Agreements with Tencent and Other Investors to Jointly Build O2O “New Consumption”
Tencent Holdings Limited (“Tencent”) as an initiator, together with investors including Suning Holdings Group (“Suning”), JD.com Inc. (“JD.com”), and Sunac China Holdings Group (“Sunac”), signed strategic investment agreements with Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties Co. (“Wanda Commercial”) in Beijing on January 29, 2018. The investor group plans to invest an aggregate amount of approximately RMB 34 billion to acquire Wanda Commercial’s approximately 14% equity interest held by investors who purchased the stake upon the company’s delisting from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. This represents one of the world’s largest single strategic investments between Internet companies and brick-and-mortar commercial giants.
Wanda Commercial is the flagship company of Dalian Wanda Group (“Wanda Group”), and is the world’s biggest commercial property company. As of the end of 2017, the company held 31.51 million square meters of operating commercial property spaces. Wanda Commercial operated 235 Wanda Plazas in China, which received 3.19 billion visitors last year. Wanda Group also owns cultural tourism parks, hotels, cinemas, children’s entertainment and other offline commercial businesses catering to various consumer needs.
Tencent is a leading Internet value added services provider in China, operating the largest social communications platform in the country. Leveraging its strong social communications platform and big data technology, Tencent provides users with diversified digital content and helps advertisers reach out to hundreds of millions of consumers in China.
Suning is China’s leading O2O Internet retailing company. The company aims to build new models for smart retailing using logistics, finance and technology innovation, and form omni-channel retailing capabilities in 3C appliances, maternal and infant care supplies, and fresh produce. In 2017 Suning Yigou was ranked No. 1 in offline retailing and No. 3 in online retailing in China, becoming the country’s only retail company to take a top spot in both online and offline rankings.
JD.com, China’s largest retailer by revenue, is a leader in e-commerce, logistics, technology and finance. It was the first Chinese internet company to make the Fortune Global 500 List.
Sunac, a Hong Kong-listed company, is one of the leading real estate developers in China, focusing on high-end real estate and commercial property development. In 2017, Sunac was China’s No. 4 real estate developer by sales.
After the introduction of strategic investors, Wanda Commercial will be renamed as Wanda Commercial Management Group. Wanda Commercial Management aims to sell off its existing for-sale properties in the next one to two years. Going forward, it will stop engaging in property development and will transform into a company solely focused on commercial management. The relevant parties will strive to take the company public as soon as possible.
Following the repositioning of its operations, Wanda Commercial Management Group will utilize the huge online resources owned by Tencent, Suning, and JD.com, and its own vast offline commercial assets to carry out various collaborations, jointly building a “new consumption” model in China that will integrate both online and offline services, providing Chinese consumers with a more intelligent and more convenient shopping experience, and generating a win-win situation for both brick-and-mortar businesses and Internet companies.
Tencent will pursue a strategic cooperation with Wanda Group’s Internet Technology Group, and meanwhile Wanda Group will have primary responsibility for the online-offline integration.
Tencent, Suning and other investors will use their financial prowess to continuously support Wanda Commercial to speed up its growth, helping the company to achieve its goal of 1,000 Wanda Plazas in China as early as possible.