China’s biggest e-commerce site Alibaba just announced an additional $807 million investment in Cainiao Network, lifting its holding in the logistics affiliate from 47% to a controlling stake of 51%. The giant will, in turn, be able to beef up its capacity in shuttling parcels in China and overseas.

The news comes ahead of China’s “Singles’ Day,” an online shopping spree between November 11 and 16. China’s State Post Bureau forecasts demand for parcel delivery to hit a new record of one billion units (in Chinese).

Unlike its arch-rival JD.com, which prides itself on in-house logistics, Alibaba assumes a platform approach that relies on third-party courier services. This keeps Alibaba asset-light and highly profitable but leaves a hole in controlling the logistics flow. In 2013, Alibaba co-founded Cainiao alongside eight partners, including five top Chinese logistics companies, to make up for its weakness in the field.

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Rita Liao

Telling the uncommon China stories through tech. I can be reached at ritacyliao [at] gmail [dot] com.