Retail giant Walmart has nearly doubled its stake in Chinese e-commerce retailer JD.com in a move that will likely allow it to grow e-commerce even faster in the country.

The US retailer has increased its stake to 10.8% from 5.9% previously, taking its stake in JD.com to 10.8%, according to an SEC filing. Walmart had initially taken a stake in June in a US$1.5bn deal. 

The "strategic alliance" saw Walmart sell its China-based Yihaodian marketplace platform for the 5% stake in JD.com, giving it access to the Chinese online retailer's nationwide logistics and warehousing networks. 

The aim of the transaction was to expand Walmart's presence in China e-commerce and provide its stores and Sam's Clubs with potential traffic from JD.com's online customer base and same-day delivery network.

Wal-Mart eyes China turnaround with JD.com deal

Walmart has been operating in China for 19 years, where it has 413 retail units covering 165 cities selling a range of merchandise including clothes. It plans to open another 115 new facilities over the next two years.

Despite this, the retailer has struggled to gain traction in China and has been closing underperforming stores amid nine consecutive quarters of falling shopper traffic. It has also battled soft online sales since buying full ownership of Yihaodian in July last year, despite saying the acquisition was part of a long-term commitment to grow in China.

The JD.com deal is the latest in a busy 2016 for Walmart. In August, it signed a $3bn cash deal to acquire e-commerce start-up Jet.com in a move to grow its online business at a faster rate and reach more Millennial customers. 

Walmart eyes online growth with $3bn Jet.com buy