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Wal-Mart completes deal with Chinese company

NEW YORK -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced the completion of its increased investment in a fast-growing Chinese company, as the world's largest retailer looks to broaden its access to a rapidly growing customer base.

The Bentonville, Ark., retailer said Friday that Wal-Mart now has a stake of about 51 percent in the Yihaodian holding company.

"This investment demonstrates we are committed to the development of e-commerce in China and bringing the best possible shopping experience to Chinese customers," said Neil Ashe, president and CEO of Wal-Mart's Global e-commerce division in a statement.

Yihaodian has been in business for less than four years. It sells more than 180,000 products ranging from groceries to electronics to clothing. Wal-Mart said that Yihaodian already has 24 million registered users, and offers same-day delivery to customers in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai and next day delivery to customers in more than 100 cities in China.

Wal-Mart's is seeking more access to Chinese consumers, who are increasingly shopping online. The discounter says that the e-commerce market is expected to be nearly as large as the U.S. e-commerce market of China by 2016.

Wal-Mart didn't provide financial terms for the deal.

Wal-Mart operates more than 10,000 retail stores under 69 different names in 27 countries.