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Online retail giant Alibaba has purchased a 14% stake in Chinese courier STO Express, marking its fourth big investment in delivery firms.

According to STO Express, its controlling shareholder will set up a new subsidiary owning a 29.9% stake in the company, and Alibaba will own a 49% stake in this subsidiary, investing $693 million (4.66 billion yuan).

“This investment is a step forward in our pursuit of the goal of 24-hour-delivery anywhere in China and 72 hours globally,” Alibaba said in a statement.

The company said it will “deepen our existing collaboration with STO in technology, last-mile delivery across China and New Retail logistics”—referring founder and chairman Jack Ma’s name for the company’s integrated e-commerce strategy.

STO already works with Alibaba through the latter’s Cainiao logistics division, fulfilling parcel deliveries.

In October last year, Alibaba purchased a $1.4 billion stake in the express delivery firm ZTO Express. It also owns minority stakes in YTO Express Group and Best Inc.

Its rival, JD.com, is currently developing its own logistics network.

Source: Reuters

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