US retail giants invest in strategic partnerships

by Smart Brief

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US retail giants invest in strategic partnerships

John Hain / Pixabay

In recent years, leading American retailers have realized that their future growth depends on foreign markets – particularly China.

China’s massive market size, economic strength and increased affluence has led to strategic partnerships between these retailers and China’s e-commerce platforms, including Walmart and, Kroger and Alibaba, and, most recently, Amazon and Pinduoduo.

We’ll look at why these retail leaders see collaboration as the way forward – and how other US retailers and brands can increase their reach and decrease their risk when expanding to new markets.

Walmart and team up to tackle smart retail

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, has been in China for more than 20 years, having opened its first store in Shenzhen in 1996. It has since grown its presence to a whopping 433 stores and more than 100,000 employees in China.

But in recent years, competition has intensified as more business moved online and competitors such as Yonghui Superstores’s Super Species chain and Alibaba’s Freshippo chain have adopted new omnichannel store formats.

Walmart’s own venture into China e-commerce, Yihaodian, failed and was sold to China’s largest online retailer,, for an undisclosed price in 2016. Walmart then purchased a 5% stake in for US$1.5 billion; that stake has since risen to 12% ... Read more. 

About the Author 

Franklin Chu, managing director of Azoya USA, is an expert and speaker on China cross-border e-commerce. Franklin also serves as President of Sage Capital Group Inc. a private equity and investment management firm and is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Business School.