The Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is pushing through its effort of expanding into offline retail after it announced on Monday it would invest HK$22.4 billion, or $2.87 billion, to buy about 36.16 percent in Sun Art Retail Group, a Hong Kong-listed business that operates 446 hypermarkets across 224 cities in mainland China.

Sun Art is China’s hypermarket store leader with about 8.2 percent of the market, the data from Kantar Worldpanel showed. It operates across China under the RT-Mart and Auchan banners and also operates unmanned stores under the Auchan Minute brand.