Alibaba and its logistics arm Cainiao have invested US$1.38bn in ZTO Express for a 10% equity stake.
The investment will see Cainiao and ZTO further their collaboration in the transformation of China’s logistics industry amid the growth of new retail, a concept developed by Alibaba that promotes seamless integration between online and off-line commerce.
New retail links online and off-line commerce through consumer engagement based on insights from advanced technology and data analytics. Moving forward, new retail will require investment in smart supply chains, retail technologies, advanced logistics and mobile payments. These investments are all aimed at delivering a better experience for both consumers and merchants.
The ZTO Express investment will further support both Cainiao and ZTO’s focus on building up first- and last-mile pick-up and delivery capabilities, warehouse management, cross-border logistics and technology-driven smart solutions.
Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group and chairman of Cainiao Network, said, “ZTO has been an important partner to Alibaba Group and Cainiao Network in the development of the new digital economy. The continuing expansion of ‘new retail’ is catalyzing new opportunities and demands in logistics. This strategic investment will strengthen synergies across our mutual businesses to create new value and improved experience for merchants and consumers.”
Meisong Lai, founder, chairman and CEO of ZTO, commented, “The growth of e-commerce and new retail in China demands more efficient express delivery and expanded logistics services. To that effect, we are delighted to enhance our partnership with Alibaba and Cainiao through their strategic investments in ZTO.
“This partnership will enable us to expand our selection of high-quality service offerings both in China and internationally, and is fully aligned with our common interest in improving logistics efficiency and enhancing customer experience.”