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Alibaba-Wanda face-off no longer skin-deep

Once-distinct portfolios blurring as they move into each other's turf

BT_20141002_CHMALLS2C_1297214.jpg
In tune: Mr Wang (above) and Mr Ma are both seeking to capitalise on Chinese smartphone use to push users into physical stores with extra benefits once inside - a process known as 'online to offline' retail.

BT_20141002_CHMALLS2C_1297214.jpg
In tune: Mr Wang and Mr Ma (above) are both seeking to capitalise on Chinese smartphone use to push users into physical stores with extra benefits once inside - a process known as 'online to offline' retail.

[BEIJING] China's former richest man Wang Jianlin once bet Alibaba founder Jack Ma 100 million yuan (S$20.8 million) that online purchases in the country would not eclipse bricks-and-mortar buys in the next decade.

But while Mr Wang says he laid the wager "for fun" two years ago, the

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