ALIBABA is to pay 5.5 billion yuan (US$870 million) to buy a 15 percent stake in Easyhome, a domestic home improvement chain.

Alibaba will help digitalize Easyhome’s outlets and “improve customer experience,” under an agreement, Alibaba sources said.

Beijing-based Easyhome had 223 outlets in the country at the end of 2017, with sales of over 60 billion yuan last year.

Alibaba has invested in the retail sector, covering home appliances, digital products, fast-moving consumer goods and catering.

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