Alibaba, JD Rivalry Turns Ugly

The heads of China’s two leading e-commerce conglomerates are in the midst of a very public exchange of criticism as the two spar for their share of the world’s largest market of Internet users.

Alibaba founder Jack Ma launched the feud with rival in an interview with the authors of a new book on his company; Ma’s comments, which have since been widely publicized, criticized JD as a firm headed for collapse. “The direction JD is going is not right,” he said. “There is nothing anyone can do about it. So I tell people at the company, definitely don’t get involved with JD. Don’t come blaming us if you die one day.”

The executive was quick to clarify the remarks as being taken out of context during a private, off-the-record conversation, but JD head Richard Liu responded with his own affront, stating that while Ma was busy criticizing the company, JD was focused on improving customer service.

According to reports, however, Ma may be right in his predictions of a JD demise. holds about 45 million active customers, just a small portion compared to Alibaba’s more than 300 million. similarly lacks behind its top rival in mobile commerce and revenue states.

But what seems like a huge lag behind Alibaba could be attributed to JD’s focus on building its assets; the company is in the midst of building its own logistics network, a venture financial experts say will cause a negative profitability for the next few years.

And not all of JD’s recent performance stats have been disappointing. The company recently struck a deal with Internet investment firm Tencent, leading to a 500 percent growth in mobile orders for the e-commerce firm.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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