July 1, 2019 / 11:31 AM / 16 days ago

Walmart to invest $1.2 billion in China to upgrade logistics

FILE PHOTO: Walmart's logo is seen outside one of the stores in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., November 20, 2018. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) - Walmart Inc (WMT.N) plans to invest 8 billion yuan ($1.2 billion) in China over the next 10 years to upgrade logistics, the U.S. retail giant said on its social media account on Monday.

The company will also set up or renovate more than 10 logistics centers in the country.

The comments followed a meeting between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping over the weekend in Osaka, Japan that rekindled hope for a U.S.-China trade deal.

Walmart has been pushing to integrate its retail network in China with the country’s burgeoning “smart retail” movement, as retailers and tech giants such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) and Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK) cut deals to combine online and high-street shopping.

In China, the company last year opened its first small high-tech supermarket, where smartphones can be used to pay for items that are mostly available on the U.S. retailer’s store on online platform JD Daojia, an affiliate of JD.com Inc (JD.O).

Walmart operates a number of formats in China, including hypermarket, Sam’s Club and Walmart supermarket, with 400 retail units covering more than 180 cities nationwide.

Last month, French retailer Carrefour agreed to sell 80% of its Chinese operations to electronics retailer Suning.com for 620 million euros.

Reporting by Pei Li and Ryan Woo in Beinjing and Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Susan Fentona, Edmund Blair and Maju Samuel

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