Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba has signed an agreement to make an investment of RMB2bn ($288.3m) in local wine and spirits importer 1919.cn.

The investment will give Alibaba a 29% stake in the company, making it the second largest stakeholder of the company.

In a statement to the National Equities Exchange And Quotations (NEEQ), 1919.cn will use the money to further expand its presence across the Chinese market by opening 2,000 retail outlets.

“The investment will give Alibaba a 29% stake in the company.”

Established in 1998, 1919.cn initially focused on the south-western region in China and gradually expanded its footprint across the major Chinese cities including Shanghai and Beijing.

The Chinese alcoholic beverage wine importer and exporter is also engaged in providing mobile and app promotions as well as offering online wine delivery service in selected cities.

In 2016, the wine and spirits importer registered revenue of RMB2.9bn ($418m), and last year the value is said to have increased to RMB3.3bn ($475m). The company turnover this year is expected to hit RMB7bn mark.

In addition to importing and exporting wine and other alcoholic beverages, 1919.cn also sells beers, spirits and wine products that are imported from various countries across the globe including France, Australia, Spain, Chile, Italy and the US directly to its customers in China.

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