Chinese Web Rivals in Alliance

Taobao Mall Co., a unit of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., said Monday that it would allow 38 Chinese online retailers to open virtual stores on its site, in a strategy shift as China’s largest online retail platform looks to team up with its smaller rivals.

The unit’s top executive also said during an interview that the business doesn’t need to seek a public listing to fuel growth despite the growing war chests of a number of its rivals, including 360buy.com operator Beijing Jingdong Century Trading Co.

Also Monday, Yu Gang, chairman of Chinese online retailer Yihaodian, said the company plans to launch an initial public offering of stock, likely in the U.S., but doesn’t have a timetable. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. owns a stake in Yihaodian — which plans to open a Taobao Mall store — but Mr. Yu declined to disclose the size, citing a confidential agreement.

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