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Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has agreed to invest 4.66 billion yuan (approximately 693 million U.S. dollars) in exchange for around 14.6 % equity stake in Shanghai-based courier firm STO Express.

According to a statement released by STO express, its biggest shareholder Shanghai Deyin Investment Holding Co. Ltd. will set up two new subsidiaries. Alibaba will invest 4.66 billion yuan and own 49 % in one of the new subsidiaries. That subsidiary will own 29.9 % stake in STO Express, and by extension, Alibaba will hold 14.6 %.

The agreement, signed on 10 March, will see Alibaba and STO express deepen their collaboration in the transformation of China’s logistics industry, in areas including logistics technology, last-mile pickup and delivery capabilities and new retail business-related deliveries.

“STO will further explore co-operations in areas of logistic technology, parcel delivery end and new retail logistics after the deal is closed,” the courier firm said in the statement.

Alibaba confirmed the deal in a separate statement: “We will deepen our existing collaboration with STO in technology, last-mile delivery across China and New Retail logistics,” the company said. “This investment is a step forward in our pursuit of the goal of 24-hour delivery anywhere in China and 72 hours globally.”

Chinese courier companies including YTO Express, STO Express, ZTO Express, and SF Express also own stakes in logistics company Cainiao, co-founded with Alibaba and more than a dozen other Chinese companies in 2013.