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Walmart and Tencent have announced a strategic partnership, allowing the two companies to develop and implement digital retail innovations in China.
The strategic cooperation between Walmart and Tencent will look to boost several areas of shopping experience. This includes marketing and payment innovation to provide customers a more convenient online-to-offline shopping experience.
Both Tencent and Alibaba have been focusing on boosting their reach in brick-and-mortar retailing, investing in partners to form alliances. Walmart's tie-up with Tencent to use WeChat has seen the retailer drop Alibaba's Alipay in all its stores in the western region of the country.
WeChat Pay has vast potential as it is built into the WeChat networking app that most Chinese consumers already use, while Alipay must be downloaded but leads the field as a mobile payment method. Both services allow consumers to pay for shopping online or in physical stores by scanning QR codes with a smartphone.
In March, Walmart opened smart stores and partnered with Tencent to test a Mini Program on WeChat, allowing customers to pay with their mobile devices and enabling Walmart's Scan & Go concept. The service is now available in select Walmart stores in 28 cities in China. The retailer plans to expand the service to more than 400 stores across the country by the end of the year.
Programme to modernise traditional kirana stores will be expanded.
Walmart has agreed to sell 80% of Walmart Brazil to Advent International, a global private equity firm. This is part of Walmart’s continuing plans to reshape its global business and strengthen it for long-term success.
The strategies and initiatives helping retailers to globalise are changing. We consider the partnerships being built at the moment and look in-depth at four key companies.