Walmart invests a billion in Chinese logistics

Walmart is setting aside 8 billion yuan (1 billion euros) in the coming decade to improve the logistics of the retailer in China. The American colossus has made its ambitions in the Middle Kingdom quite clear.

 

Political signal

Walmart has announced through social media that it's setting aside another billion euros (8 billion yuan) to further invest in the group's logistics in China for the coming ten years. The company wants to use the money to renew or create more than ten extra logistics centres, according to Reuters.
 

The timing of Walmart's tweet is no coincidence, right after the meeting of American president Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. The American-Chinese trade war seems to be running down.
 

The announcement also fits the news that Carrefour is retreating from China. Meanwhile, German competitor Metro is also insisting on a departure from China. In other words: it's the perfect moment for Walmart to reaffirm its own ambitions loud and clear.
 

In China, the American retail giant is pursuing cloud stores, meaning local 'dark stores' or warehouses for online orders. These don't function like normal stores but only as fulfilment centres whence the retailer can deliver within the hour. For that omnichannel strategy, Walmart is directly collaborating with online platform JD.com, which has a 10% interest in the chain's Chinese branch.