China's 360buy closes funding round, valuing company at $7.3 bln-media

SHANGHAI Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:07am EST

SHANGHAI Nov 13 (Reuters) - Chinese e-commerce firm 360buy has closed its latest round of financing, raising about $400 million that values the company at $7.3 billion, local media reported.

Financial muscle is important in China's crowded e-commerce industry where more than 200 million people shop. But the boom means some e-commerce firms struggle to draw repeat users and have to fight costly price wars and use constant discounts to keep users engaged.

The company, also known as Jingdong Mall, declined to provide financial details of the fundraising. The valuation of $7.3 billion is lower than the valuation 360buy achieved last April when it raised $1.5 billion from a slew of international investors, local media said.

The latest round was participated in by Ontario Teachers' Pension Fund and the Tiger Fund.

The company was reportedly planning to list in 2012 to boost its balance sheet, but 360buy denied that, saying it has no plans to list before 2013.

The company recently launched an international website to cater to buyers outside China and take on rivals like Alibaba Group's Taobao, Amazon.com Inc and Ecommerce China Dangdang Inc.

In August, a price war erupted between 360buy, Suning Appliance, and GOME Electrical Appliances Holding , causing an investigation by the government.

China's e-commerce industry grew 45 percent year-on-year in the second quarter to reach $45 billion in transaction volume.

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