By Hu Yuanyuan, China Daily
Dalian Wanda Group Co, one of China’s largest business conglomerates, signed a strategic partnership with China UnionPay on Thursday, as it speeds up its efforts to integrate its offline and online resources.
According to the agreement, Wanda Group and its partner merchants will gradually fully accept UnionPay QuickPass, and the two parties will jointly develop a UnionPay cardholder service system and various applications that will be available at Wanda’s wide-ranging properties, including shopping malls, department stores, supermarkets and theme parks.
Meanwhile, they will also jointly expand customer service channels, carry out joint marketing campaigns, and explore the provision of value-added services for consumers both at home and in overseas regions where both of them offer services.
“The strategic cooperation with Wanda Group will explore new formats for commercial-financial integration and boost consumption upgrading,” said Ge Huayong, chairman of China UnionPay.
As part of the strategic cooperation, China UnionPay’s subsidiary, Shanghai Lianyin Investment Co Ltd, will acquire a stake in Wanda Internet Technology Group, but detailed information about the investment value and the proportion of the stake have yet to be disclosed.
Wanda Chairman Wang Jianlin said that joining hands with China UnionPay is a major advance for Shanghai Ffan E-commerce Co Ltd, Wanda’s e-commerce platform and a subsidiary of Wanda Internet Technology Group.
“I expect Ffan E-commerce to be profitable next year and to see profit exceeding 10 billion yuan ($1.45 billion) by 2020,” Wang said at Wanda Group’s annual meeting in January.
The company will start a new round of financing in the third quarter, Wang said on Thursday.
Grant Ji, executive director of capital markets for northern China at CBRE Group, said the cooperation is part of Wanda’s commitment to its light-asset business strategy.
Income from Wanda’s services businesses accounted for 55 percent of the company’s total last year, exceeding its real estate sector for the first time, according to the company’s annual report. The group is reshuffling its business from real estate to become a conglomerate based on commerce, culture, internet and finance.
According to industry observers, after several years of operations, Wanda’s e-commerce platform is not a B2C platform selling commodities and services but a B2B technology provider offering Internet Plus solution and techniques to its merchants in its shopping malls, cinemas and hotels, such as helping them to increase membership.