In what could easily turn out to be one of the biggest investments a Chinese company has ever seen, auto information website BitAuto today announced that the company is set to receive an astounding US$1.3 Billion (plus an additional $250 Million) via JD.com and Tencent Holdings.
JD.com and Tencent will pump in a US$1.3 Billion in cash and resources into BitAuto and another US$250 Million in cash in YiXin Capital Limited (“YiXin Capital”), a subsidiary of Bitauto primarily engaged in e-commerce-related automotive financing platform business.
With this ‘startegic partnership’, BitAuto will get access to the new and used car channels on JD.com’s e-commerce sites including mobile apps and ‘additional support’ from its key platforms, as consideration for a total of approximately US$1.15 billion of newly issued ordinary shares from Bitauto.
JD.com, which is China’s second largest e-commerce platform after Alibaba, will invest a combination of US$400 million in cash and approximately US$750 million of resources
The transactions are expected to close in the first half of 2015, subject to customary closing conditions, after which JD.com and Tencent will hold 25% and 3.3% of the Company’s outstanding shares on a fully diluted basis, respectively. JD.com will get a seat on Bitauto’s Board of Directors. JD.com and Tencent will hold 17.7% and 26.6% of YiXin Capital, respectively, upon this deal’s closure.
The deal, apart from providing huge cash flows to BitAuto, will also help the company in expanding its reach to a wider audience through JD.com’s used cars platform. As for JD and Tencent, this is quite possibly a move to counter Alibaba’s ever-growing dominance in the Chinese e-commerce space. Alibaba opened up to Internet history’s biggest IPO last year and was also among the most searched IPOs in the U.S.
The e-commerce behemoth is also reportedly in final phases of taking its Taobao marketplace to international markets. In September last year, Taobao also launched a regional version for Southeast Asia, with translation available for a few major languages, including English.