BEIJING (Reuters) — Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, in its first big investment since raising $25 billion in a record-breaking New York initial public offering, has bought 15 percent of Chinese hospitality technology provider Beijing Shiji Information Technology Co Ltd for 2.81 billion yuan ($458.66 million).
The investment is expected to allow the e-commerce giant to develop its Taobao travel business alongside Beijing Shiji, including back-office services, while helping to migrate hotel customers to Alibaba’s e-commerce Web site.
Beijing Shiji provides IT consulting to hotels in China’s fast-growing market. It sells everything from software that manages room reservations, purchasing, inventory, and point of sales systems, to broadband networks and billing systems.
The Shenzhen Stock Exchange-listed firm says almost 6,000 hotels in China use its products, including 90 percent of the country’s five-star hotels, according to Sunday’s filing. Its customers include Grant Hyatt Hotels, Marriott International Inc, Westin Hotels and Resorts and Sofitel Luxury Hotels.