February 8, 2018 / 7:55 AM / 7 months ago

Alibaba to take $486 mln stake in China retail data firm

SHANGHAI, Feb 8 (Reuters) - China's biggest e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd will invest $486 million for a stake in a domestic big- data firm focused on hotels and retail, as part of a push to deepen its offline presence.

The firm will buy a 38 percent stake in Shiji Retail Information Technology Co via its subsidiary Alibaba Investment Ltd, the data firm's listed parent said in a filing to the Shenzhen stock exchange on Thursday.

The deal is part of a "new retail" strategic cooperation, Beijing Shiji Information Technology Co Ltd said, referring to a shift by Alibaba and rivals to leverage big-data to shake up China's huge but stalling retail market.

Alibaba has been beefing up its retail presence with more than $10 billion of investments into brick-and-mortar outlets amid rising competition in the space from rival Tencent Holdings Ltd.

Alibaba did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the announcement by Beijing Shiji Information.

Beijing Shiji Information says it provides software and data systems to hotel firms such as InterContinental Hotels Group , retailers such as Starbucks Corp, and entertainment companies.

The latest deal comes after another Alibaba subsidiary, Taobao (China) Software Co Ltd, agreed to take a roughly 15 percent stake in Beijing Shiji Information in 2014 for 2.81 billion yuan to help bolster its online travel business. (1 Chinese yuan = $0.1583) (Reporting by Adam Jourdan and Pei Li; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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