Hangzhou, China, September 29, 2014 – Alibaba Group (NYSE:BABA) announced that Taobao (China) Software Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Alibaba Group, has agreed to invest RMB2.81 billion in Beijing Shiji Information Technology Co. Ltd (Shiji Information) (Shenzhen Stock Exchange stock code: 002153), a China-based hotel information technology provider, in return for a 15% stake. After completion of the transaction, Alibaba Group will have one board seat on the board of directors of Shiji Information. The investment is subject to customary closing conditions. As part of the strategic investment, Alibaba Group and Shiji Information will work together to connect the systems of Taobao Travel vertical with Shiji Information's systems, with the aim to continue to strengthen Alibaba Group's service capability in the online travel market.
Taobao Travel is a vertical within Taobao Marketplace that enables consumers to book air and train tickets, hotels, vacation packages, excursions, and travel visa services; consumers can also access the platform via a dedicated Taobao Travel mobile application. This investment is part of Alibaba Group's "live @ Alibaba" vision to diversify the company's products and services and become central to the everyday lives of consumers. It will also bolster Alibaba Group's online travel market service capabilities through the two companies' collaboration in data and systems.
Shiji Information is primarily engaged in the development and sale of hotel information management system software, system integration and technical service. Its products and services are used by both domestic and foreign high-end hotels in China. Currently almost 6,000 hotels use Shiji Information's service.
As part of this strategic investment, Taobao Travel and Shiji Information are expected to focus their collaboration on hotel information systems, including direct connection with hotel information systems, booking-related product development, integration with member services platforms and payment settlement through scannable technology.
About Alibaba Group
Alibaba Group's mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. The company is the largest online and mobile commerce company in the world in terms of gross merchandise volume. Founded in 1999, the company provides the fundamental technology infrastructure and marketing reach to help businesses leverage the power of the Internet to establish an online presence and conduct commerce with hundreds of millions of consumers and other businesses.
Alibaba Group's major businesses include:
Alibaba Group also provides payment and escrow services on its marketplaces through its contractual arrangements with Alipay (www.alipay.com), a related company of Alibaba Group.
Through China Smart Logistics, a 48%-owned affiliate, Alibaba Group operates a central logistics information system that connects a network of express delivery companies in China.
Forward Looking Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements. These statements are made under the "safe harbor" provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "will," "aim," "vision," "expects," "anticipates," "future," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates" and similar statements, and are contained in, among other things, the statements relating to the potential benefits of the investment, Alibaba Group's overall strategies and plans for its online travel market service capabilities, and future collaboration and integration between Alibaba Group and Shiji Information. Actual events or results may differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements due to risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, risks associated with Alibaba Group's ability to achieve successful data connection and system integration with Shiji Information; execution of business plans and strategies; and changes to the overall travel market in China and demand for travel services. Further information regarding these and other risks and uncertainties is included in Alibaba Group's registration statement on Form F-1, as amended, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Alibaba Group does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, except as required under applicable law.