Chinese Internet giant Alibaba is heading up a 5.4 billion yuan (US$870 million) investment in Beijing Easyhome, one of the leading companies in the home decorating industry, securing a 15% stake in the company, Yicai.com reported.
Other investors include Yunfeng Capital, a private equity fund co-foundered by Alibaba’s chairman Jack Ma, as well as Taikang Insurance Group and Harvest Capital.
For the last three years, Alibaba has been extending its influence in the online home furnishing business in the name of Tmall, an e-commerce platform operated by Alibaba.
However, the investment shows Alibaba has begun to inject money into offline entities in this area, which are expected to lead to a digital transformation.
It will be a whole new consuming scenario for Alibaba to push forward its “new retail” strategy, a business model that integrates brick-and-mortar and online shopping to create a seamless experience for consumers.
Previously, the company has been promoting new retail in the area of fresh food chain supermarkets, apparel, home appliances, catering and so on.