It’s only been two months since Walmart acquired an undisclosed minority interest in Chinese online supermarket operator Yihaodian, but now the company is indicating it may conduct an initial public stock offering in the United States, according to Bloomberg.
The new agency said the Shanghai-based company is looking to expand aggressively and quoted Yihaodian chairman Yu Gang as saying the company will most likely sell shares to the public in the United States but offered no timetable.
Yu expects to conclude the Walmart investment agreement this month as Yihaodian aims for a larger slice of China’s online commerce market, according to Bloomberg.
“We’ll do whatever it costs to secure a bigger slice of the market,” Yu said in a July 1 interview. “Market share is our top priority.”
To take on Taobao Mall, a unit of China’s biggest online commerce company, Yihaodian is expanding its work force to about 3,000 employees by the end of this year from 2,000 now and adding a fifth warehouse this year, Yu said. Sales at Yihaodian are expected to almost more than triple this year to as much as 3 billion yuan from 805 million yuan in 2010, Yu said, which places the company 10th among China’s online retailer, according to a Beijing-based research company IResearch Inc.
If Yihaodian does pursue a U.S. stock offer it won’t be breaking new ground. In fact, Chinese IPO’s have become quite common and such notable names as Baidu, Sina and Ctrip.com are popular with U.S. investors.