STO is one of the top five parcel delivery company in China. Handout.

Alibaba Group Holding has proposed to buy a 14% stake in Chinese courier service firm STO Express as the technology giant expands its footprint in the expanding logistics industry.

Alibaba will pay 4.66 billion yuan (US$693.3 million) for a 49% stake in a new subsidiary that will control 29.9% of Shenzhen-listed STO Express and will by extension hold more than 14% in the company, STO said in an stock exchange filing.

Following the announcement, STO share prices soared to the 10% daily limit to 22.48 yuan as the market opened on Monday.

Alibaba said in a separate statement that the investment is a step forward in pursuit of the goal of 24-hour-delivery anywhere in China and 72 hours globally. It will deepen the existing collaboration with STO in technology, last-mile delivery across China and New Retail logistics, it said.

STO is one of the top five parcel delivery companies in China. Alibaba had strategically invested in other top players YTO Express in May 2015 and ZTO Express in May 2018.

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