Alibaba invested $692 million in Intime Retail (1833.HKG), a Chinese department operator, to develop its online to offline business, or O2O, in which online shoppers are brought into brick-and mortar stores, Reuters reported. To that end, the two firms will launch a joint venture to grow O2O business in shopping malls, department stores and supermarkets in China. The e-commerce giant agreed to acquire a combination of shares and convertible bonds, which would give Alibaba a 26.1% stake in Intime Retail after three years. The purchase is one of Alibaba’s many recent acquisitions ahead of its IPO in New York.
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