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IBM partners Chinese retailer in e-commerce push

Big Blue and Suning to build "multi-billion" yuan e-commerce platform targeting both businesses and consumers worldwide, reports say.

IBM is working with China's biggest electronics retailer, Suning, to build a multi-billion-yuan e-commerce platform, according to reports.

Chinese news site Xinhua reported last Friday that the e-commerce platform is touted to be "the world's biggest" and will benefit both consumers and suppliers. Reuters reported that same day that the e-commerce platform will be powered by cloud computing, logistics and supply chain management technologies provided by both parties.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on Sunday shed more light on the deal, reporting that Big Blue will help Suning set up a technology center in Nanjing, China, as well as an e-commerce center in America's Silicon Valley. The China site will have software developers who will focus on creating cloud products and PC applications for consumers to use on their handsets and tablets to control and connect to other appliances, said Harriet Ip, an IBM spokesperson, in the report.

Ip added that Suning will hire 15,000 employees to staff the new Chinese operation in the next three to five years.

Through the partnership, Suning aims to increase its Chinese and overseas businesses even as it faces stiff competition at home from rival Gome Electrical Appliances, the report added.

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