Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has taken full control of its e-commerce site in China, the company said Thursday.
Three years ago the U.S. retailer increased its stake in Yihaodian to 51%. No terms have been disclosed about the recent acquisition of remaining shares.
Yihaodian co founders, chairman Gang Yu and ex-CEO Junling Liu, have left the company as of last month. Wang Lu, president and CEO of Walmart Global eCommerce in Asia, will lead Yihaodian as part of his overall executive responsibilities, the company said.
The move is really a no-brainer for Wal-Mart. Yihaodian has brought Wal-Mart good business, and in many ways it's in steadier shape than the retail giant’s operations back here at home. Yihaodian began out the gate as a nimble e-commerce site, while Wal-Mart’s web business until recently has been more of an afterthought.
Plus, China’s emerging middle class and retail space has been filled with growth potential, while in the U.S. the middle class and thriving retail are old news. If anything, the middle class in the U.S. has suffered, with stagnant wages even in a recovering economy.