Chinese e-commerce $460m spend.
Alibaba has invested $458.66m to acquire 15% of Chinese hospitality technology provider Beijing Shiji Information Technology, its first since its US initial public offering (IPO).
Shiji delivers IT consulting services to Chinese hotels. It provides software for managing room reservations, buying and inventory, and point of sales systems, in addition to broadband networks and billing systems.
The deal falls in line with the e-commerce company’s plan to link its online and mobile services with bricks-and-mortar businesses.
Acquisition of stake in Shiji is also expected to drive Alibaba’s travel-booking business Taobao Travel, which offers plane tickets, hotels and package tours.
Alibaba already has mobile apps that enable payments for meals at restaurants, taxi rides and a range of other offline services through the electronic payment system.
The deal forms part of a series of acquisitions and investments by the company to enhance its existing services. it has invested $120m in gaming firm Kabam and purchased mapping tools provider AutoNavi for $1.5bn, in addition to acquiring its remaining stake in UCWeb.
Alibaba’s record US IPO has enabled it to expand its services in a bid to compete with other Chinese internet firms including Tencent and Baidu.