Major Chinese delivery company YTO Express plans to expand its international activities in close cooperation with Alibaba Group after the e-commerce giant invested US$966 million to double its minority stake in the company.

Alibaba has increased its stake in YTO from 10.5% to 22.5% by acquiring a further 12% holding from the company’s founding couple for RMB 6.6 billion, the South China Morning Post reported today. However, Yu Weijiao and his wife remain controlling majority shareholders.

The e-commerce group also has strategic minority stakes in other Chinese courier firms such as ZTO Express, STO Express, Yunda Express and Best Inc. All five delivery firms cooperate closely with Cainiao Network, Alibaba’s logistics subsidiary, to deliver parcels ordered through Alibaba’s Tmall and Taobao online retailing platforms.

Source: CEP Research