Suning is mostly known as a retailer in China with an online platform, shopping malls, and various stores. It sells things like home appliance among others.
It’s now expanding into a very different vertical: home buying and rentals.
Suning struck a deal with 5i5j, one of China’s largest real estate brokers and the only public company in the industry that is listed in the country’s A-share market.
5i5j’s more than 10,000 apartments will be listed on a Suning subsite called fang.suning.com and 5i5j brokers will be stationed across Suning.com’s offline convenience stores called Suning Xiaodian (small stores in English) as part of this cooperation deal. However, the cooperation at this point applies only to properties listed and Suning Xiaodian operated in Nanjing, the capital of East China’s Jiangsu province–where Suning is headquartered.
There is no public information on how many Suning Xiaodian there are in Nanjing, but the company’s latest financial report shows that nationwide, Suning built 930 such small stores in the first quarter and owned 5,098 Suning Xiaodian and Dia convenience stores in total.
Suning.com, as a company advocating “new retail”, which tries to create user-friendly features to integrate online and offline shopping, launched the real-estate focused sub-website in August 2018.
Shi Jianjun, general manager of 5i5j’s Nanjing subsidiary, told the retail-focused media outlet linkshop.com.cn that he believes the real estate brokerage industry should actively embrace the internet.
He added that the cooperation will help 5i5j, which has been offering its service in Nanjing for 19 years, to access its clients more efficiently.