Alibaba is stepping up attempts to tighten up control of its logistics system to fight stiffening competition with its core ecommerce business, paying almost $1bn to double its stake in chinese courier team yto express.

Hangzhou-based alibaba stays chinas largest e commerce system, but features reported slowing development for its taobao and tmall marketplaces even while rivals like have seen a pandemic-driven boost.

A specific challenge for alibaba is its dependence on lovers to ferry its 29.5bn annual bundles to shoppers. during chinas lockdown early this year as authorities sought to curb the spread of coronavirus, that implied many of its products went undelivered by courier businesses lacking manpower.

Alibaba, like amazon, happens to be moving to ascertain its distribution platform to quickly attain a target of delivery any place in asia within 24 hours. the chinese business also is designed to manage to achieving anywhere in the world in 3 days.

It has obtained stakes in five of chinas leading courier organizations in recent years while creating out a community of warehouses and parcel lockers to speed up delivery, and holds board seating on several of them.

It has additionally increased its holdings in logistics supply cainiao to a managing share, and pledged to expend rmb100bn ($14.6bn) into the five years to 2022 to strengthen its businesses.

Quicker distribution would give alibaba an advantage over fast-rising competitor pinduoduo, which will be rapidly gaining users attracted by its less expensive rates. both ecommerce businesses rely largely on the same set of courier groups to ship bundles.

On the other hand, has built on its very own logistics system that enables for same-day or next-day delivery in many significant towns across asia.

Alibaba is spending rmb6.6bn to improve its 10.5 per cent share in yto express to 22.5 %. ytos founding couple, zhang xiaojuan and yu huijiao, will continue to be its controlling shareholders.

The aim, said li chengdong at e-commerce think-tank haitun, was to expand its influence over strategy and preparation. featuring its existing little stake in yto, alibabas control of the company was too poor to affect the companys decision-making, stated mr li.

Alibaba said the deal would enhance its yto relationship focused on digitisation and globalisation.

Shanghai-listed yto, which has market worth of about rmb56bn, said the two businesses would push forward with co-operation on logistics, air cargo, and intercontinental growth.