Alibaba to buy 50% stake in Reliance Retail

Walmart, Amazon and Alibaba may have different strategies to outplay each other, but all roads it would seem lead to India.

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For Alibaba Co-founder Jack Ma, teaming up with Reliance Retail, India’s largest retail company, is the key to building a mega Indian retail joint venture and getting an edge on major players, including India’s Flipkart.

We covered just a few days ago that eBay India was re-assessing their Indian marketplace strategy as well as how Flipkart are rebranding to target the refurbished market which is huge in India.

Alibaba Jack Ma
Source: Alibaba Group

The Alibaba Group is investing $5 billion in the Indian behemoth to create a digital marketplace and expand its retail business in the country.

Ma is said to be in talks with Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Retail, regarding Alibaba’s intent to acquire a 50% stake in the latter.

Both eCommerce titans see opportunities in the partnership

Although Alibaba and Reliance Retail have yet to issue an official statement about their partnership plans, reports have surfaced that Ma and Ambani have already met and discussed it back in July.

According to sources privy to what transpired during the meeting, both of them agreed that the joint venture will enable them to create a large omnichannel retail entity.

If the deal pushes through, it’s going to be Alibaba’s largest investment in an Indian company.

With Walmart looking to get involved in India, it looks like the new battleground where the giants of Eastern and Western eCommerce are colliding to start having more influence and control over Middle Eastern eCommerce.

With Amazon acquiring Souq last year they have their stake in the Middle East already, now it appears Alibaba is set to get involved in the region too.

Do you think this brewing partnership is bound to give Amazon, Walmart, Flipkart and other big eCommerce firms a run for their money? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below or over in our Facebook Group.

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