Alibaba will pay $457 million for a stake in Beijing Shiji Information Technology, marking the company's first major deal since going public earlier this month.
The Chinese e-commerce giant plans to secure 15 percent of the Beijing-based company, which specializes in technology and services for the hotel industry. Beijing Shiji offers customers a full IP hotel solution which integrates multiple systems into one infrastructure, including property management systems, sales & catering, point of sale systems, HR and booking.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the purchase was revealed in a regulatory filing on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, where Beijing Shiji is listed.
Alibaba's purchase of the stake marks the first acquisition following the company's. The firm launched at $68 per share, reaching $93.89 at market close -- and a total valuation of $25 billion, the largest in history.
The slice of Beijing Shiji joins China's largest online shopping business Taobao Marketplace, which is owned by Alibaba. In addition, China's third-largest party platform for brands, Tmail, is also part of the company's portfolio.
While much of Alibaba's revenue comes from online marketing, adverts, membership fees and cloud services, a stake in Beijing Shiji marks the company's interest in traditional brick-and-mortar businesses. The hotel technology provider holds an established network of hotels across the country in its grasp, and by purchasing a stake, Alibaba can tap these businesses and potentially connect online and mobile services to physical outlets.
Users of Alibaba can already pay for meals out, taxi rides and for other services through the firm's mobile payments application, and it is likely that in time, hotels will be added to the list -- which further expands Alibaba's reach in the Chinese consumer sphere.
The Chinese e-commerce giant has spent over $2.7 billion on acquisitions this year alone. Alibaba's portfolio includes a stake in Chinese department store retailer Retail Group and mobile browser firm UCWeb, as well as a 50 percent stake in China's most successful football team and animation studios.
Read on: In the enterprise