(Adds Tencent declined to comment)
BEIJING Aug 27 China's privately-held Dalian
Wanda Group is set to launch a 5 billion yuan ($813 million)
e-commerce joint venture with domestic internet giants Tencent
Holdings Ltd and Baidu Inc, according to two
sources familiar with the investment.
The e-commerce venture, which will be 70 percent owned by
Wanda and 15 percent held by Tencent and Baidu respectively, is
set to be announced later this week, the people said.
The venture will unite three of China's most powerful
non-state companies. For Wanda, the tie-up with Tencent and
Baidu opens the door to new opportunities in the world's biggest
e-commerce market as the rise of smartphones creates new
Wanda is a commercial property, luxury hotel and film
conglomerate controlled by Wang Jianlin, China's wealthiest
billionaire with a net worth of $16 billion according to Forbes.
Wanda, which bought U.S.-cinema operator AMC Entertainment
Holdings Inc in 2012, operates 83 department stores in
major cities throughout China.
Shenzhen-based Tencent, a social media and video games
mammoth, is China's biggest listed internet firm with a market
capitalisation of $156 billion. Beijing-based Baidu is China's
dominant search engine provider.
In July, Wang Jianlin said Wanda was planning a 50 billion
yuan e-commerce business without disclosing who the other
investors would be.
A Wanda spokesman declined to comment, as did spokeswomen
for Baidu and Tencent.
($1 = 6.1472 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Paul Carsten, Matthew Miller and Beijing
Newsroom; Editing by Matt Driskill and Kenneth Maxwell)