Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and its logistic arm Cainiao Network have signed a strategic partnership with U.S.-listed ZTO Express, a leading and fast-growing express delivery company in China.
Under the agreement, investors led by Alibaba and Cainiao will invest US$1.38 billion in ZTO in exchange for an approximately 10% equity stake in the company. The transaction is expected to close
in early June, subject to customary closing conditions.
In a statement, Alibaba said the investment will “further support both Cainiao and ZTO’s focus on building up first and last-mile pickup and delivery capabilities, warehouse management, cross-border logistics and technology-driven smart solutions.”
Alibaba’s chief Ma eyes global logistics network
ZTO has been a long-standing partner to Alibaba and at one point relied on Alibaba for about three-quarters of parcel volume.
Cainiao Network president Lin Wan said: "The logistics industry in China is highly competitive with its own unique features and presents plenty of new opportunities ahead. This investment will enable Cainiao and ZTO to supercharge joint innovation and development to accelerate digitalisation of the industry."
Cainiao provides same-day and next-day delivery in nearly 1,500 districts and counties in China, and now operates Cainiao Post, a network of last-mile stations covering communities in top 100 cities and around 1,800 university campuses across the country.
Alibaba Executive Chairman Jack Ma last week announced that the group will invest billions of dollars to build the technical backbone for a global logistics network, which eventually will ensure single-day delivery across China and 72-hour delivery to the rest of the world (see also "Liege Airport Set to Become Alibaba’s European Hub").
Nol van Fenema