China’s second largest eCommerce player – JD.com – is going after No. 1.
JD will be taking on Alibaba by launching JD Worldwide – a sales platform that will make it easier for merchants outside of China to sell goods to consumers within China without having to go through the extra step of setting up a Chinese-based business. The new platform will compete with Alibaba’s Tmall International.
The new platform will be integrated with the major JD site and will feature 450 online shops and 150K products. Delivery of goods will be managed by JD’s overseas inventory through the firm’s in-house logistics infrastructure.
That logistics infrastructure is one of the main differentiators between Alibaba and its nearest competitor. JD is mainly tied into warehouses, fulfillment centers and last mile delivery networks (a la Amazon) as opposed to basing delivery logistics with third-party providers (as Alibaba tends to – though that is changing as Alibaba is upping its investments in logistics in both China and Asia).
eBay and JD have partnered to allow some vendors on the American auction/eCommerce site a direct sales line to Chinese customers.
Those consumers are putting a particular focus on goods like infant products and groceries being especially popular as safety concerns about the locally produced versions are driving Chinese customers overseas.