BEIJING – The founders of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s e-commerce business in China, called Yihaodian, left the company, according to news reports. Yihaodian Chairman Yu Gang and Junling Liu, CEO, left the company to start a new venture.

Yihaodian faces tough competition from larger competitors such as Ali Baba Group, which dominates the consumer delivery market in China.

Walmart officially launched its online store in June 2011, according to the company’s website. On Oct. 26, 2012, the global retailer bought a 51 percent stake in Yihaodian, a Chinese online retailer. At the time Yihaodian boasted 90 million registered users and provided same-day delivery services to eight cities and second-day delivery services to another 166 cities.

“Walmart’s increase in investments will aid the continuing development of Yihaodian, and help Walmart serve the Chinese consumers better through the online platform,” the company explained.

In May, Walmart launched its hypermarket O2O platform “Walmart To Go” in Shenzhen where the company has 23 stores. The platform includes a “Walmart” mobile shopping app, “To Go Service Center” in stores for self-pick up and multiple online and offline e-payment options.