(Yicai Global) Sept. 14 -- Tencent Holdings Ltd. [HKG:0700] affiliate Tencent Cloud Computing Beijing Co., Hefei Department Store Group Co. [SHE:000417] and Shenzhen Morning Star E-Commerce Co. have reached an agreement to explore intelligent retail together.
The trio signed a strategic cooperation agreement in Hefei city, in China's eastern Anhui province, on Sept. 13. They will create one-stop solutions integrating technology commodities, logistics and operations in a bid to explore new approaches to smart retail, Sohu Tech reported.
Tencent Cloud will supply its cloud platform for the trio to work on; while Morning Star will provide smart retail industry solutions and Hefei Department Store will research business applications. The three will consolidate their resources in e-commerce services, online-to-offline supermarket services and smart guides for department stores.
The cooperation will push online and offline convergence, provide supermarket customers with O2O home delivery services and ensure goods can be delivered to customers in a three-kilometer radius within two hours.
The partnership should greatly reduce information technology expenses and operations and maintenance costs. Tencent's cloud infrastructure and services combined with the Morning Star platform can meet company's demands across a range of business scenarios, without the need for the companies to build their own equipment rooms. The cooperation will also provide self-built supply chain services, commodity purchasing and warehousing and logistics construction for Hefei Department Store Group.
"Smart retail needs to utilize new technologies to cut costs and provide customers with differentiated commodities and services," said Tencent Cloud. "Digitization is the core growth driver in intelligent retail."
The cooperation marks an important step in Tencent Holdings' two-stage strategic cooperation with Anhui province and Hefei city. The internet giant has worked closely with the provincial and city governments across multiple fields, including Internet Plus and the digital economy. Tencent plans to open up its cloud and Big Data services to facilitate a connection between the internet and manufacturing, commerce and trade logistics, and service sectors.