Wanda, Suning Forge Alliance amid Chinese Companies’ Tie-up Frenzy

China’s property conglomerate Dalian Wanda on Sunday inked a “close cooperation” deal with Suning Commerce Group, which will allow the country’s largest electronics retailer to open stores in Wanda’s shopping centers nationwide.

Forty Suning stores will be opened at Wanda Plaza, the developer’s flagship commercial property, in 2015. With plans for more in the future, the two companies said in a joint statement.

Suning owns more than 1,600 outlets across China, together with one of the country’s largest online retailing platforms.

Having lauded Suning’s offline/online synergy success, Wanda chair Wang Jianlin said he expected the deal will make up for Wanda’s offline-online shortcomings.

Wanda has scaled down its traditional department stores, relieving itself of a Karaoke chain following a tug-of-war with online competitors.

The alliance between Wanda and Suning is another collaboration in China featuring powerful enterprises this year.

In May, Wanda forged a “strategic partnership” with China Vanke, the country’s largest residential property developer, to increase price bargaining power amid a lukewarm property market, following its teaming-up with Chinese Internet giants Tencent and Baidu to create e-commerce platform Ffan.com last year.

Suning is also no stranger to strategic alliances. On Aug. 10, online retail behemoth Alibaba announced it was buying an almost 20 percent stake, worth 28.3 billion yuan (4.45 billion U.S dollars), in Suning to become its second largest shareholder, while Suning will buy no less than 28 million new shares in Alibaba for 14 billion yuan.

“We want to develop a new business model to gain the upper hand,” said Zhang Jindong, chair and CEO of Suning, who works with Alibaba on the online front and will work with Wanda to cultivate brick-and-mortar businesses.

Analysts said this represented the typical mentality of Chinese billionaires nowadays.

“The alliance is a win-win for both sides,” Wang said at the signing ceremony.


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