JD.com has bought a 46% stake in Chinese home appliance and consumer electronics giant Five Star, 36Kr reports, in a deal that sees the e-commerce titan pay RMB 1.27 billion (USD 190 million) and loan RMB 1.03 billion (USD 150 million) to Five Star’s existing majority shareholder Jiayuan.
The investment strengthens JD.com’s position as a go-to destination for Chinese consumers to buy quality electronics. It coincides with efforts by the Chinese government to boost consumer spending—particularly in electronics purchases— including home appliances and smartphones.
Five Star has 220 stores across seven of China’s 23 provinces, with online stores focusing on second- and fourth-tier cities. It has a particularly large footprint in China’s Eastern region, especially in Jiangsu, the country’s second most prosperous province by GDP.
The company used to be the local partner of American consumer electronics retailer Best Buy, which invested USD 180 million to enter China in 2006, before completely exiting the country and selling its interest in Five Star to Jiayuan in 2014.
JD.com and Five Star’s cooperation goes back to 2017 when the pair began connecting the former’s e-commerce platform and logistics network with the latter’s retail stores. During the 2018 11/11 shopping event, more than 50 of Five Star’s flagship stores were directly connected with JD.com.
36Kr is KrASIA’s parent company.
Editor: Nadine Freischlad