The Ministry of Commerce (MOC) has welcomed Walmart's purchase of Yhd.com, a move that means the world's largest retailer is the first company to wholly own a Chinese e-commerce platform.
Walmart has been buying stakes in Yhd.com, a smaller version of Alibaba, since 2011. The company announced on July 23 that it had acquired full ownership after China lifted a cap on the number of shares that foreign firms are allowed to hold in Chinese e-commerce platforms in March.
MOC spokesperson Shen Danyang said on Tuesday that the ministry expects Walmart's investment to not only improve the services of Yhd but to be a boon to China's retail sector.
It hopes Walmart will use its experience in procurement, logistics, processing, management and food safety to help the sector's sustainable development, Shen said at a press conference.
Walmart's move shows it is upbeat about the economy and market in China and the government's progress in opening up e-commerce, according to the spokesperson.
Under the deal, Yhd will retain its brand and management.
Yhd had amassed nearly 90 million users by the end of 2014. Its two co-founders, Yu Gang and Liu Junling, announced their departure from the company in mid-July.