JD.com’s 7Fresh and Yonghui Superstores are set to co-invest RMB 5 billion (nearly USD 750 million) in Thailand to establish a direct sourcing and distribution line for tropical fruits.
7Fresh is an offline fresh-food store launched by JD.com in January 2018, and a direct rival to Alibaba’s Hema supermarket chain, while Yonghui Superstores is one of China’s largest and most established supermarket chains. The Shanghai-listed grocer counts Tencent as a 5% stakeholder. Tencent also owns a 20% stake in JD.com.
Furthermore, 7Fresh has signed a memorandum of understanding with several Thai agricultural brands to purchase RMB 1.5 billion (USD 223 million) worth of durians, mangosteens, longans, and coconuts over the next three years.
Many of China’s leading e-commerce players have invested in Thailand as they seek to satisfy the country’s growing appetite for tropical fruits and get a foothold far up the supply chain.
Kr-asia.com reported how, earlier this week, Suning signed an agreement to buy 20 million coconuts from the Thai province of Ratchaburi. Alibaba Group holds an ownership stake just shy of 20% in Suning, while Suning has a 0.51% stake in Alibaba Group.
And last year, Alibaba signed a three-year, RMB 3 billion deal (roughly USD 447 million) with the Thai government to purchase durian, which would then be sold both online and offline via its T-Mall platform, Hema, and RT-Mart, a hypermarket chain in which Alibaba holds a 36% stake.