Mainland trade centres and logistics property operator Wuzhou International is in talks with e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba for possible co-operation, founder and chairman Shu Cecheng told the South China Morning Post yesterday. Linkages between the logistics and e-commerce sectors are growing rapidly. Rival logistics operator China South City teamed up in June with another mainland e-commerce giant, Tencent, to enable co-operation across a range of areas. Alibaba last year invested 2.15 billion yuan (HK$2.7 billion) for 43 per cent of China Smart Logistics Network. The venture, also known as Cainiao, was set up by Alibaba and its partners with plans to invest as much as 100 billion yuan over a number of years to develop a logistics operation that offers deliveries on the mainland within 24 hours. "It was only a matter of time for co-operation between Alibaba and us," Shu said. He and his brother Shu Cewan hold 73 per cent of Wuzhou, based in Wuxi, Jiangsu province. Alibaba was not immediately available for comment. Investors are chasing logistics assets on the mainland, betting on a booming e-commerce industry and official efforts to steer the economy towards consumption rather than investment to drive growth. Shu said he was approached by many investors and would talk later this month to Singapore-listed Global Logistic Properties, the largest operator of distribution centres and warehouses in China, for deeper co-operation. Wuzhou International and Global Logistic in June signed a strategic framework agreement to jointly invest in logistics and storage platforms and explore opportunities in online-to-offline commerce. Wuzhou International said this week that it would sell convertible bonds worth US$100 million to Ping An Real Estate, a unit of the mainland's No2 insurer Ping An (Group), and Asian alternative fund PAG. The bonds due 2019 can be converted into Wuzhou International's shares at HK$1.78 per share to account for 8.56 per cent of the enlarged capital and dilute the Shu brothers' holdings to 67 per cent. Wuzhou International's shares have jumped 33 per cent since the announcement to end at HK$2.19 yesterday. The firm reported a 27 per cent year-on-year decline in first-half earnings to 352 million yuan.