Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has increased its stake in Chinese courier company, YTO Express in a bid to further ramp up its presence in China’s fast-growing express market.
Alibaba hiked its stake in YTO Express to 22.5% in a 6.6 billion yuan (US$966 million) deal, more than doubling its previous ownership of 10.5% in the major Chinese courier.
According to a joint statement, the two companies will focus on express deliveries, air cargo, building a global logistics and supply chain network, and digital technologies.
The e-commerce behemoth's latest investment reflects its aggressive efforts to broaden its logistics and transport infrastructure in the Chinese market to meet the fast-growing consumer demand due to the COVID-19 related lockdowns implemented.
Last year, delivery companies dispatched some 63 billion parcels in China, up 24% from 2018. The industry's revenue also grew by 23% to 745 billion yuan (US$109 billion), according to the State Post Bureau.
YTO is China’s third-largest express delivery firm by parcel volume, with a 14% share of the Chinese market in 2019.
Alibaba, meanwhile, already owns stakes in other large express delivery firms in China including STO Express, Yunda Holding and Best Inc.