In a landmark strategic partnership, Tencent announced that it will buy a 15 percent stake in China’s No 2 e-commerce firm for $214.7 million. This is meant to threaten rival Alibaba with Tencent’s QQ and WeChat applications.

As part of the agreement, JD will take control of Tencent’s e-commerce businesses Yixun, Wanggou B2C and PaiPai C2C marketplace. Both parties will also cooperate on online payment services to improve online shopping experience for users. In addition, Tencent’s president Martin Lau will join the JB’s board of directors.

According to the third quarter results announced by Tencent in November last year,  QQ has 816 million monthly active users while Weixin and WeChat have a combined 272 million monthly active users.

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In return, JD will issue new shares to Tencent. Upon closing the transaction, Tencent will own 15 per cent of JD. Furthermore, Tencent will subscribe at IPO price for an additional five per cent of JD on a post-IPO basis.

Martin Lau, President of Tencent, said that their strategic partnership with JD will not only extend their presence in the fast-growing physical goods eCommerce market, but also allow them to build better e-commerce systems for their platforms.