Mainland e-commerce giant Alibaba Group said it has made a “strategic investment” by becoming a majority shareholder in AdChina, a digital marketing platform growing its advertising business. Alibaba did not disclose the size of the investment. Shanghai-headquartered AdChina, established in 2007, filed an initial public offering application to the US Securities and Exchange Commission in 2012 to raise US$100 million. The company pulled back the application a year later. The prospectus at that time showed that the net income of AdChina in 2011 is US$51 million, up 86 per cent year on year. Alan Yan Fangjun, founder and chief executive of AdChina, said on Monday to domestic media that AdChina would not give up the “dream of an independent listing”. AdChina will work closely with Alimama, Alibaba’s online marketing technology platform and Aliyun, Alibaba’s cloud computing unit, to develop an end-to-end data-driven digital marketing platform, according to the Alibaba statement. “The rapid rise and development of the e-commerce industry in China has made the relationship between e-commerce and marketing ever more linked. AdChina’s data marketing platform and Alimama’s existing online marketing business are very complementary,” said Wang Hua, general manager of Alimama. Wang said the next 3 to 5 years will be crucial in building a “world-class marketing and data-driven platform” that will aid e-commerce merchants in Alibaba’s ecosystem. Yan said he hope the team-up with Alibaba will enable customers to find it more convenient to use data-driven digital marketing technology. Alibaba’s strategic stake is expected to allow AdChina to enhance its competitive strengths in its existing businesses. The data sharing between both companies will also help AdChina strengthen its multi-screen marketing capabilities, according to the statement.