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JD.com, Tencent to invest 1.63B yuan in Chinese retailer Better Life

Chinese online retailer JD.com Inc. and tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. agreed to take a combined 11% stake in domestic chain store operator Better Life Commercial Chain Share Co. Ltd., according to a Feb. 24 filing to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

A Tencent subsidiary will acquire 6% of Better Life for 886.9 million yuan, while a JD unit will purchase a 5% stake for 739.1 million yuan.

Agreements on the transactions were reached Feb. 14, according to the filing.

Hunan-based Better Life is also known as Bubugao and operates supermarkets, department stores, restaurants and other commercial properties. It has nearly 600 physical stores which are located mainly in central and southwestern China, according to the company's website.

The deal comes as Chinese online majors such as Tencent, JD and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. ramp up their brick-and-mortar presence in an effort to integrate online and offline retail.

Tencent's other recent deals in the physical retail space include stake purchases in Yonghui Superstores Co. Ltd. and Heilan Home Co. Ltd.

As of Feb. 23, US$1 was equivalent to 6.33 Chinese yuan.