Davis Polk & Wardwell and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom have the lead roles in Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s $214.7 million investment in online retailer JD.com Inc.
Tencent will take a 15 percent stake in JD.com, which operates Jingdong Mall, China’s second-largest online shopping site after Alibaba Group Holding’s Taobao.com. A strategic cooperation agreement between Tencent and JD.com will grant the latter ownership of Tencent’s e-commerce units.
The move comes ahead of a planned $1.5 billion initial public offering in the United States for JD.com.
Tencent will also integrate its popular messaging app WeChat with JD.com, a move widely seen as a large step forward in challenging Alibaba’s dominance in China’s online retail market. Tencent has already leveraged WeChat’s popularity to launch services rivaling Alibaba’s in online payment, taxi booking and personal finance.
Davis Polk Hong Kong partner Kirtee Kapoor advised Tencent with Zhong Lun Law Firm Shanghai partner Anthony Zhao and Beijing partner Scott Yu acting as Chinese counsel.
Skadden Hong Kong partners Julie Gao and Jonathan Stone advised JD.com with Han Kun Law Firm Beijing partner Charles Li advising on Chinese law. Maples and Calder advised the company on Cayman Islands law.*
*Updated, 3/14/14: This story has been updated to include the role of Maples and Calder as Cayman Islands counsel.