Telstra sells most of its stake in China's Autohome

Eden Estopace
Enterprise Innovation

Australian operator Telstra has sold the most of its majority stake in Chinese online car sales business Autohome to Ping An Insurance Group for $1.6 billion.

Andrew Penn, Telstra CEO, said proceeds from the sale of a 47.4% stake in Autohome will be used to fund a capital management program that will start in the first half of the 2017 financial year.

After the sale is completed, Telstra will retain a 6.5% interest in the company and will have one nominee director on the board.

“Ping An will be an important strategic partner for Autohome. Its nationwide footprint in China and experience and expertise in auto financing, insurance and e-commerce mean Ping An is well placed to help Autohome develop outside of its traditional focus on online advertising,” Penn said in a statement.

Autohome is an online destination for automobile consumers in China. It has a comprehensive automobile library and automobile listing information, as well as an advertising platform for automakers and dealers.

In the first quarter 2016, the company reported a significant expansion of its transaction platform with a total of 4,957 new vehicles sold through its B2C transaction platform.

Average daily unique visitors who accessed its mobile websites and mobile applications has also grown to 8.8 million and 7.2 million, respectively.

Leng Peidong, President of Ping An Trust, said that with Ping An’s nearly 300 million online users, 150 million financial customers, longstanding relationships with car manufacturers and distributors, and a nationwide offline service network, it will be in a better position to transform Autohome into a full auto transaction service platform.

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